What Mauricio Pochettino did at full-time in Chelsea's draw with Arsenal as boss proved right


Mauricio Pochettino may have said ahead of the game against Arsenal that, even with three points, it would not be a case that 'Chelsea are coming'. There was caution in his tone ahead of the game with the Gunners with the Blues still missing an array of players and come Saturday evening, the likes of Reece James, Axel Disasi and Nicolas Jackson were still only fit enough for the bench.

He said on Friday: "Not really [would a win be a statement]. I think we want to win because we want to escape in the table, we want to be higher. The moment we have all the squad at a high level and fit in the way that we want, after that we can say: ‘Ok we are going to Arsenal, we are going to Manchester City, we are going to big clubs and say: Ok we are going to beat you’ and we are ready to fe.el what you are telling me now. But at the moment, with the circumstances, we need points to be higher but I don’t think it is going to be a statement.

"In the circumstances, it is about competing in this way and trying to fix the situation and find the solution. It is going to be tough but I believe this game is not going to be a statement to say: ‘Be careful, Chelsea is coming’ or something like this."

Pochettino was not wrong in establishing that results and points are more important at the moment. It's why nobody will worry too much about any possible controversy in the penalty Chelsea were awarded or any possible fluke in Mykhailo Mudryk's goal. On this occasion, the Blues were unable to deliver three points, however.

Chelsea's outing was characterised more in other moments in the game. Marc Cucurella's relentless challenges against Bukayo Saka, the Blues forcing and pouncing on errors in the centre of midfield.

Chelsea's own errors changed how the match can be perceived. It emphasised what the Blues lacked as much as Arsenal's character, but the rest of the performance cannot be forgotten, and perhaps is thhe real takeaway from the game.

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Pochettino has been relentess in conveying a message of his side being competitive in every moment, and having no excuses. While, injuries may have provided some of the head coach, the players showed no sign of needing them at Stamford Bridge.

In a game where the Blues lacked figures such as Christopher Nkunku, James, Disasi, Jackson and Ben Chilwell in their starting lineup as genuine contenders to be established stars, Pochettino's side went toe-to-toe with an opponent who has proven themselves to be one of the best teams in the league.

Pochettino may have shown some moments of frustration in his technical area as the game came to it's conclusion and Chelsea made some execution errors, and the 51-year-old would swing his leg. However, come the full-time whistle, the Argentine was composed.

He made sure to greet each of his players on the pitch, and shook the hand of referee Chris Kavanagh and his fellow officials, while in contrast Mikel Arteta made his complaints heard and received a yellow card for his trouble. Pochettino even spent some time speaking to Arsenal's goalkeeping coach following the game. A penny for their thoughts following the 90 minutes.

Of course, Pochettino was disappointed, but he was clearly measured in his reponse to the game, this was ultimately a step in the right direction. Chelsea managed to pick up a point, and move into the top half of the table. Ahead of the game, that could be seen as a degree of success.

It is how Chelsea played for the bulk of the match that will linger. For the first time this season, beyond the statistics they have shown, they looked like an elite team who could mix it with the best. They will have plenty of opportunities to test themselves against top opposition in the coming weeks.

There is a sense Chelsea might be coming.

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