Chelsea penalty row: Mauricio Pochettino 'can't accept' argument before Cole Palmer strike

Tue, Apr 16, 2024
By editor


CHELSEA boss Mauricio Pochettino says he was “so upset” about the dispute over who would take the penalty in their 6-0 win over Everton and has warned his players not to do it again.

Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke argued over who would take a spot-kick, before Cole Palmer – Chelsea’s regular taker – scored his fourth goal.

“I can’t accept this kind of behaviour,” said Pochettino.

“I told them it’s the last time I want to see this kind of behaviour.”

He added: “It is impossible to have this type of behaviour after this performance. If we want to be a great team, we need to change and think in a collective way.”

Palmer scored the 64th-minute penalty for the Blues – his ninth successful spot-kick of the season -following a bizarre 60-second confrontation involving five players.

Initially, Madueke and Jackson both went to grab the ball from Malo Gusto, with Madueke getting there first and prompting a 30-second exchange between the pair. Thiago Silva then intervened, with Jackson walking away.

Captain Conor Gallagher then approached Madueke, pointing at Palmer and telling him to hand the ball over. Madueke refused both men, before Gallagher grabbed the ball and handed it to Palmer.

Palmer and then Gallagher had to shove Jackson away, who came back to get involved again, then a final push from Gallagher on Madueke ended the squabble.

Pochettino said afterwards that all the players know Palmer is the designated penalty taker.

“The penalty taker is Palmer. It’s Palmer who needs to decide if he wants to give the ball to a team-mate. It’s important to fix. They realise now,” the Argentine said.

“It’s a shame. It’s a process for a young team who need to learn a lot. I need to apologise because fans around the world are seeing this type of situation after 4-0 to fight for a penalty.

“They need to learn and be professional. We need to be focused on the collective. It’s a clear example that it’s a process we still need to learn.”

Palmer has converted all nine penalties he has taken in the Premier League with only former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, has a better 100% conversion rate – from 11 penalties – in the competition’s history.

Palmer himself tried to play down the incident afterwards.

“Other players wanted to take it, but I am the penalty taker and I wanted to take it,” the ex-Manchester City player said.

“I think we are showing everyone wants to take responsibility. It may be a bit over the top, but everyone wants to win – we are laughing and joking about it.”

Everton midfielder Dele Alli, watching the game for Sky Sports as he continues his recovery from a long-term injury, saw it differently.

This was Palmer’s second home hat-trick in a row, having scored a 100th-minute penalty in a 4-3 win over Manchester United earlier this month.

“This is them showing their age. I’m not there at the training ground every day, but as far as I’m aware in their last big game, in the last minute when the pressure was on I didn’t see them all fighting to take it then,” he said.

“It’s alright when it’s 4-0 and you all want to get on the scoresheet.”


16TH April, 2024.