Mauricio Pochettino explains why Chelsea struggled in nervy win at Luton

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino insisted many major sides have struggled to play away at Luton Town after his team nearly blew a three-goal lead at Kenilworth Road.

The Blues prevailed 3-2 away at the Hatters in Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off, but came close to leaving with only a draw.

A fine brace from Cole Palmer and one from Noni Madueke put Chelsea three to the good, but goals in the final ten minutes from Ross Barkley and Elijah Adebayo set up a stirring finish. Luton threw all they had at Chelsea though were unable to come up with one final goal to snatch a point.

Elijah AdebayoElijah Adebayo

Luton nearly salvaged a draw / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

In his post-match press conference, Pochettino claimed Chelsea deserved the win on the whole, but praised Luton for how they have made their home a fortress so far in the Premier League.

“It is really important to finish 2023 well, look forward to 2024 to start well also. It’s really good to finish with good feelings and go into the new year with momentum,” Pochettino said.

“Overall, we were the better side and fully deserved the result. Too many positive performances. When you concede, you build the belief of the opponent.

“The Premier League is like this; if you see games like Arsenal, Liverpool, City, Newcastle, you understand the difficulty of playing here in this atmosphere. They believe in the way they play, very good players, very good coach and it is tough to play here.

“We needed the three points and we got what we wanted.”

Arsenal needed a 97th-minute winner from Declan Rice to secure a 4-3 win at Luton earlier in December, while Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur only eeked out one-goal victories at Kenilworth Road too.

Liverpool required a stoppage time strike from Luis Diaz to salvage a 1-1 draw, and Newcastle United were recently beaten 1-0 on their trip down to Luton.


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