Mauricio Pochettino criticised the officiating and shared his halftime challenge with his 10-man Chelsea side in the chaotic 3-2 win over Brighton.
Enzo Fernandez and Levi Colwill’s headers from corners had put Chelsea in a comfortable position. But on the stroke of halftime, Conor Gallagher was shown a red card moments after Facundo Buonanotte scored for the visitors.
At halftime, Pochettino told his team they had an “opportunity” and explained how he lifted his vulnerable-looking team.
“I told them it is 2-1 and these things happen. It is a great opportunity and a massive challenge for us to show we are a team and it will improve us,” he stated post-game.
The Argentinian coach was also critical of referee Craig Pawson, during his interview after the game, after he sent off Gallagher, saying: “I don’t think it is a sending off, but I may be wrong.”
Fernandez scored a crucial penalty in the second half against Brighton, ultimately earning three points for Chelsea, Pochettino added: “Why was the penalty of [Mykhailo] Mudryk waiting for VAR and he gave the [Colwill] handball? It is so weird the way we use VAR sometimes.”
Chelsea are now ten points behind fourth placed Aston Villa, and eight points behind London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who occupy fifth.