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Pochettino says fans shouldn't be surprised at Chelsea recent resurgence in form

  /  autty

Mauricio Pochettino insisted that people shouldn’t be surprised by Chelsea’s recent form after their win at Brighton put them on the brink of securing European football for next season.

‘The performance from the beginning of season has been good,’ said the Chelsea boss. ‘Now only because we are winning games, it looks good. The problem is that people only analyse the result,’ Pochettino added.

The Blues finished 12th last season but have now won four Premier League games in a row for the first time since 2022 and look set to finish sixth. If they avoid defeat at home to Bournemouth on Sunday, they will be guaranteed European football next season.

‘I’m so happy for the players and they deserve the credit. I feel so proud,’ admitted Pochettino. ‘The three points here allows us to hopefully achieve what we want, which is to play in Europe,’ he added.

Goals from Cole Palmer and Christopher Nkunku gave Pochettino’s side a two-goal lead but an otherwise perfect evening for Chelsea was dampened by Reece James' straight red card for violent conduct in the 88th minute.

Danny Welbeck pulled one back for Brighton in added time but it was ultimately only a consolation.

‘The red card is painful because it was a fantastic night of football and now he’s going to miss the last game,’ said Pochettino, who was adamant that he didn’t see the incident where James lashed out at Joao Pedro.

Meanwhile, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi admitted his side had a tough night at the office as Lewis Dunk joined an ever-increasing injury list.

‘Remember, we are Brighton. Chelsea’s substitutions were (Raheem) Sterling, (Christopher) Nkunku and (Reece) James.

'We only have 14 players at the moment,’ De Zerbi stressed. ‘‘I hope Lewis (Dunk) is ok and available for Sunday but more importantly for him, I hope he is available for the Euros,’ he added.

Asked about whether he was in favour of VAR after a game that had numerous VAR interventions, De Zerbi refused to comment but admitted he wasn’t impressed with referee Michael Salisbury.

‘I didn’t like the referee and his control of the game. It was a clear penalty on (Simon) Adingra,’ said De Zerbi. ‘We need to speak about level of referees like we speak about the levels of coaches.’