Chelsea 4-4 Manchester City: 3 things Pochettino got right in the game of the season

3 things Pochettino got right in Chelsea's 4-4 draw against Manchester City

Chelsea 4-4 Manchester City: 3 things Pochettino got right in the game of the season

Tunde Young 07:56 - 13.11.2023

Chelsea secured an unlikely yet entertaining 4-4 draw against Manchester City and it is ultimately down to the impact of manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea and Manchester City served up a Premier League classic heading into the international break with a breathtaking 4-4 draw.

var widgetLoaderConfig = widgetLoaderConfig || { CDN_URL: '', APP_LINK: 'desktop', API_URL: '', API_KEY: '2f852b4de2f3a5cf3188e74b33087bb4:2c18422f8e826a7d11aeed52edb2449e', LANG: 'en', REQUEST_INTERVAL: 30, ENABLE_BET_SLIP: false, AUTHOR: false, THEME: "light", TOURNAMENT_ORDER: "pulse_nigeria", LINK_OPTIONS_V2: { 'player' : { 'url': '/football/player/{playerId}' }, 'team' : { 'url': '/football/{teamId}' }, 'tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}' }, 'match': { 'url' : '/football/match/{matchId}', 'sort': { 'criteria': 'alphabetically', 'direction': 'asc' } }, 'configuration': { 'newWindow': false }, 'standings_tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}/standings' } } }; if (!document.querySelector('script[src=""]')) { window.setTimeout(function () { let scriptCss = document.createElement('link'); scriptCss.href = ''; scriptCss.rel = 'stylesheet'; scriptCss.type = 'text/css'; document.body.appendChild(scriptCss); let scriptTag = document.createElement('script'); scriptTag.src = ''; scriptTag.defer = true; scriptTag.onload = function () { window.setTimeout(function () { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }, 200); }; document.head.appendChild(scriptTag); }, 0); } else { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }

The eight-goal thriller came off the back of six consecutive wins without conceding in this fixture for Manchester City which added to the delight of the result for Chelsea.

So how have the Blues managed to put up their performance of the season and steal a point from the treble-winners in a game they had been condemned to lose? The simple answer is Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine manager proved his mettle at Stamford Bridge and set himself apart from Chelsea's last two coaches with his bravery and many other factors.

Here are three things Poch got right for Chelsea in the 4-4 cracker at Stamford Bridge against Manchester City.

Pochettino showed bravery

Chelsea's approach to the game from the jump was on the front foot which is rather unusual for most teams playing against Pep Guardiola's team.

The previous approach from Chelsea in recent games against Manchester City had always been to simply avoid defeat by defending well and hoping for the best in attack but Pochettino set up his team to attack from the get-go with Reece James registering the first shot of the game after just 25 seconds.

The confidence of the manager was exuded by the team in their positive approach even as they went behind three times, they never felt defeated but instead believed that they were good enough to come back into the game.

Pochettino displayed bravery in his substitutions, taking off Enzo Fernandez, a central midfielder for Mykhailo Mudryk, a winger in the 64th minute with Chelsea trailing 3-2 was a bold move which ultimately paid off as the Ukrainian was involved in the equaliser three minutes later.

Pochettino displayed bravery against Manchester City || Photo credit: IMAGO

He did it again in the 90th minute, taking out defensive midfielder Moises Caicedo for centre-forward Armando Broja four minutes after Rodri had scored to put City 4-3 up.

This gong-ho approach paid off as Broja won the penalty five minutes after coming off the bench which was decisively converted by Cole Palmer to seal the 4-4 scoreline.

Taking control of the midfield

Pochettino laid special emphasis on the midfield as Chelsea were aggressive and dominant in central areas to prevent City from operating freely.

Pep Guardiola acknowledged this fact after the game, claiming Chelsea were able to control the game because they controlled the midfield.

Pochettino achieved this by using Conor Gallagher as a disruptor, his immense energy and pressing ability proved crucial to the result.

The entire Chelsea team pressed well and were aggressive and passionate from start to finish but the great midfield work forced key players like Bernardo Silva wide and also limited the impact of Julian Alvarez.

Chelsea's frontline often triggered the press on the City midfielders in the central areas and forced them all the way back to Ederson.

Chelsea players embrace Palmer after his late equaliser. (Photo Credit: PL)

This action forced City to build up attacks from wide areas instead and also rely on counterattacks rather than completely dominate possession as they would have liked. 

Shutting down Manchester City's overloads

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City often score a lot of their goals by creating an overload in wide areas of the opposition box and then squaring it in for a simple tap-in for whoever is in the middle.

Man City manager Pep Guardiola || Credit: Imago

And even though they did score their third goal of this game in that fashion with Phil Foden creating the overload along with Julian Alvarez to square it for Haaland who scrambled over the line, that happened only as a result of a counterattack.

Chelsea shut down the rest of their attempts to execute that play with great defending in wide areas from their fullbacks, Marc Cucurella and Reece James.

James in particular shut down Doku for 59 minutes and it did not help that the Belgian winger did not particularly have help from his fullback Josko Gvardiol whose first priority is to defend.

Reece James gave Jeremy Doku a hard time (IMAGO)

The Cityzens had a bit more success on the other end with Foden getting the better of Cucurella a few times including the aforementioned third goal.

It turned out however to be a successful defensive effort to stop Manchester City from playing exactly how they want to play and Pochettino must be given credit for that. 

Related content