Mauricio Pochettino praised the mentality of his young Chelsea side as they came from behind three times to draw 4-4 with Manchester City.
After going behind early on in their last game against Tottenham, Chelsea went behind early on again thanks to an Erling Haaland penalty. Goals from Thiago Silva and Raheem Sterling put the Blues into the lead, before Manuel Akanji equalised on the stroke of half-time.
Haaland scored his second of the match early into the second half to hand City the lead, but Nicholas Jackson was on hand to follow up on Conor Gallagher’s strike which was parried poorly by City keeper Ederson to bring the game level once again.
Pep Guardiola’s men then thought they had won it through Rodri’s deflected finish win in the 86th minute. This was not to be the end of it as Ruben Dias fouled substitute Armando Broja in the box, leaving referee Anthony Taylor with no choice but to award a penalty.
Ex-City player Cole Palmer calmly dispatched the spot-kick to give Chelsea a well deserved point. When asked about how proud he was of his players, Pochettino could not hide his delight towards his team.
“Very proud. So happy, the players deserve credit because this performance this evening was amazing.
“You face a team that for me is the best team in the world and so many circumstances that happened during the game made me very proud because the way we managed the game was really good.
“Of course, there’s always things to improve but this is the process when you want to build a journey, to build a project from zero.”
Having suffered defeats against Brentford, West Ham and Nottingham Forest, teams notorious for operating in low blocks, it was a welcome relief for Pochettino that his side were able to do toe-to-toe with a team of the calibre of Manchester City.
However the Argentine remained level-headed, stating that the Chelsea ‘project’ has only just started, with plenty more to come from his young, hungry side.
“I cannot go back and explain every single game, but back at the beginning there were different circumstances for the team.
“I don’t want to be wrong when you assess the past. If I go back, of course I’m very disappointed but it is a process, we are a young team and you feel the pressure to win.
“I think today we deserved so much. To be in the top six, the top four, I don’t know because of our performance but sometimes this happens with this young team.
“Sometimes you concede or you don’t have the patience to build and to score not from the beginning, but you can score at the end and win the games and that happens.”
A draw for Chelsea lifts them into the top half of the Premier League table into tenth place heading into the international break, with games against Newcastle and Brighton coming up when the league resumes.