Mauricio Pochettino: ‘I am not going to accept’ shootout behaviour, but ‘it’s not about punishment’

Despite a stunning six-goal victory that saw Chelsea stun Everton at Stamford Bridge, Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson may just have managed to overshadow Cole Palmer’s quartet of goals with a messy argument over a penalty.

Having already bagged a hat-trick thanks to his first-half exploits, Palmer stepped up to add to his tally from twelve yards out when Michael Keane felled Madueke inside the penalty area. The ex-Manchester City forward has established himself as Chelsea’s first-choice penalty taker since his move to the capital – but Madueke and Jackson were left aggrieved.

A scuffle ensued – and with the match broadcast live to the nation, it was unsurprisingly the main talking point of Mauricio Pochettino’s post-match press conference. ‘I am going to tell you, to make clear; the players know, the staff know, the club know that the penalty taker is Cole Palmer,’ he explained.

‘All that happened after is a shame. I am so, so upset about this situation. We were talking in the dressing room about the image that we send, because it’s Monday Night Football – every single country they were watching the game and we cannot send this type of image. It’s a shame. I want to apologise to the people and to our fans because that is unacceptable.’

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‘I am not going to accept again this type of behaviour. I am going to be very strong if something like this happens again,’ insisted Pochettino, who added that ‘it’s not about punishment – it’s about [the chance] to learn.’

‘They are young guys, they behave like this. I think it was very good the reaction of [Conor] Gallagher like a captain. I think we cannot show that type of behaviour. That is a punishment for everyone because they all know if Palmer is on the pitch, he is the taker from the day he started to play.’

‘After the unbelievable game that we were playing from the beginning, to talk today about that, it’s a shame and it’s an unacceptable thing. We don’t deserve to talk about that. I apologise to the fans and to the people because the way we behave. It’s part of the process.’

With a nail biting Emirates FA Cup semifinal against Manchester City lying in wait next weekend, Pochettino took the opportunity to clarify that Monday’s incident will not affect his team selection. He likened his squad to a class at school, suggesting that ‘it’s now to show that they are wrong and now they need to learn. If they don’t learn, yes, after we will take some decisions. But now it’s about to learn, it’s to use this type of experience to go on and move on.’