Angie Postkoglu furious over Champions League blow

Chelsea dealt a heavy blow to Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League with a 2-0 win over their London rivals on Thursday.

Trevor Chalobah’s first goal since March 2022 gave Chelsea a first-half lead at Stamford Bridge.

The much-maligned Nicholas Jackson scored late on with his 14th goal of the Blues’ struggling first season.

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After losing to Arsenal and Newcastle, fifth-ranked Tottenham suffered three consecutive defeats and fell 7 points behind fourth-ranked Aston Villa.

Tottenham have four games remaining and Villa have three, leaving the north Londoners in the top four of the Premier League.

It’s another painful setback for Tottenham Hotspur, who have squandered the goodwill that Postkoglu built up over much of the Australian’s first season in charge.

He became furious that night, abandoning his usually calm persona on the touchline and tearing some of his players to shreds.

“His attacks on Sarr and Romero were both correct,” Sky Sports’ Gary Neville said. “Angie Postkoglu is angry.”

As Postekoglu licked his wounds, Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino secured a second win over his former club this season, following a 4-1 win in November.

Pochettino, who has coached the team for five years and led them to the 2019 Champions League final, has angered Chelsea fans by admitting he cannot “hide his emotions”.

But he put those feelings aside to deliver the result they wanted, keeping eighth-placed Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for Europe alive and making it their 34th home league tie against Tottenham Hotspur a defeat in.

Postkoglu criticized Tottenham’s poor performance in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Arsenal and made five changes in response, with Richarlison on and James Maddison off.

But in Pochettino’s 400th game of English football, the Chelsea boss should have been celebrating within five minutes.

– Rolling Spurs –

Jackson burst into the Tottenham area and fired a shot at the feet of Guglielmo Vicario, but lacked the strength to stop Mitch van de Veen’s clearance and Cole Palmer somehow got the ball away from close range Shoveled over.

Moments later, Chelsea winger Noni Maduk started an energetic run before firing over from the edge of the box.

Postkoglu was furious with his team's performance.
Postkoglu was furious with his team’s performance.Source: AFP

Four of the five goals Tottenham conceded in their first two games came from set pieces, and they were punished for worse dead-ball marking in the 24th minute.

Conor Gallagher’s free-kick flew into the box and Chalobah was unmarked with a lovely header past Vicario from 12 yards. .

This brings Postkoglu to have conceded 22 goals from set pieces in the league this season.

Tottenham claim Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella prevented Brennan Johnson from marking Chalobah, but VAR ignored their protests.

Mykhailo Mudryk’s deflected shot was blocked by Vicario before the Ukrainian winger’s shot went just wide to set up Chelsea’s second goal.

Tottenham almost exploited Chelsea’s defensive deficiencies due to a weakness from set-pieces, with Christian Romero’s header beating the post of Pedro Polo’s free kick.

Postkoglu looked increasingly angry after the half-time whistle and his players responded to their manager’s frustration with a more lively second-half performance.

Polo’s shot from a tight angle forced Djordje Petrovic into a save at Tottenham’s most threatening moment.

But Chelsea scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute.

Palmer’s ferocious free-kick flew off the crossbar to Jackson, who reacted fastest and headed home from six yards.

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