HomeGallagher credits Pochettino tweaks after sinking former club Palace

Gallagher credits Pochettino tweaks after sinking former club Palace

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Conor Gallagher credited Maurico Pochettino’s half-time changes after he scored twice to guide Chelsea to a dramatic 3-1 win over his former loan club Crystal Palace on Monday.

Chelsea produced a dismal first-half performance at Selhurst Park and looked to be on their way to a third straight Premier League defeat when Jefferson Lerma picked out the top-right corner from 25 yards out on the half-hour mark.

However, Pochettino introduced Christopher Nkunku in place of Noni Madueke at the break as Chelsea moved to something resembling a 4-2-2-2 system, provoking a startling turnaround.

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Gallagher equalised from Malo Gusto’s cross within two minutes of the restart, then the England international steered Cole Palmer’s cutback into the bottom-left corner to put Chelsea ahead in the 91st minute.

Enzo Fernandez then raced through on the break to add a late third as the Blues eased the pressure on Pochettino somewhat, and Gallagher said the Argentine deserved all the credit for the win.

Asked what Pochettino said at the break, Gallagher told Sky Sports: “He just said to stay confident and that we needed to be better.

“We needed to be quicker on the ball, because Palace are always tough to break down and they played well.

“In the first half we weren’t good enough. We had to stick together and try to stay positive going into the second half. That’s what we did and we’re buzzing to get the three points.

“In the second half, the gaffer gave us more structure in their half of the pitch, to help us create more chances.

“He thought having the two strikers running in behind was going to help us create more chances and it did, so it was good from the gaffer.”

Gallagher’s goals were his first in the Premier League this season, and the 24-year-old’s future at Stamford Bridge has been called into question in recent weeks after he entered the final 18 months of his contract.

Gallagher has also been used in multiple positions this term with Pochettino struggling to field a consistent lineup, but he is content to play any role which benefits the team.

“I’ve played in a number of positions this season. It was holding midfield at the start, then I’ve played more box-to-box, as a 10, and even up front for a couple of games,” he said.

“I’m happy to play wherever for the manager, I’m happy wherever I play. We’ve got some massive games coming up and we’re trying our best to keep improving.

“Consistency is the main thing for us, there have been games where we’ve been brilliant and then games where we’ve been terrible. We were good against Aston Villa [in the FA Cup last Wednesday] and we needed to keep that going.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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