Pochettino praises 'priceless' Gallagher after Chelsea's comeback victory.

Pochettino praises ‘priceless’ Gallagher after Chelsea’s comeback victory.

Mauricio Pochettino described match-winner Conor Gallagher as “priceless” to Chelsea after his two goals helped them win 3-1 against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday evening.
Chelsea trailed 1-0 at halftime following Jefferson Lerma’s wondergoal, but Gallagher scored barely a minute into the second half, followed by a 91st-minute winner to shatter Palace’s resolve. Enzo Fernández scored a third goal in the 94th minute to let Chelsea leave Selhurst Park with three points.

Gallagher’s first goal came off a Malo Gusto cross, and his second was a beautiful strike from the outside of the box that gave Chelsea the victory.
“I think he’s a player with a great commitment to the team, always trying to compensate for every single situation,” Pochettino remarked of Gallagher. “Having a player like him is invaluable. I’m overjoyed for him; it’s a win we needed.”
Gallagher was linked with a move away from Chelsea during the January transfer window, but he remained put. Gallagher’s long-term future is unknown, since his contract expires at the end of next season, but Pochettino claims Gallagher never considered leaving the club last month.
“Always he decided, what he said to me was that he wanted to stay at Chelsea,” Mauricio Pochettino remarked. “But this is about him and the club. I’m not concerned about these things; he has another year on his deal. But it is a problem between him and the club.
Pochettino said the club will check the severity of Thiago Silva’s groin injury on Tuesday, when he was forced off after 61 minutes, and that Malo Gusto was tired rather than hurt later on.
Pochettino’s team was in mixed form going into this game. They had previously lost in the Premier League to Liverpool and Wolves, but their most recent encounter saw them secure a remarkable 3-1 FA Cup triumph against Aston Villa. The aim on their trip to Selhurst Park was to play as they did against Villa, rather than like they played in their previous two Premier League games.

Chelsea controlled possession in the first half but only had one off-target shot, but they found a clinical edge in the second half as Pochettino switched to two up front, with Christopher Nkunku replacing Noni Madueke at halftime.
From there, they put together their match-winning performance, playing with the same tenacity that they had against Villa. The difficulty for Chelsea is to keep looking for a 90-minute performance. “That’s the consistency that we need to change,” Pochettino said.
“We need to start the game differently, and we need to attempt to be consistent in our play and performance, much as we did against Aston Villa. It is not easy, but that is the challenge. We needed the three points, and I am really delighted.”
Chelsea will now go to Manchester City on Sunday before taking on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on February 25.
On the other side, the loss left Hodgson depressed. Crystal Palace is 15th in the league, five points from the relegation zone, with top players Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi, and Michael Olise all out.
“I’m not really in the mood if I’m being brutally honest of [talking about] positives and trying to find things to say that would cheer me up, because I don’t know what could be said that would cheer me up,” Hodgson told reporters after the game.
“What can I say to cheer the players up? With returning players and strong performances, the team’s outlook for the remaining 14 games seems promising.But, of course, we don’t know when Olise and Eze will return, so we may have to go through a few more games like we did tonight before we can look at a team that will threaten the opponent more than we did today.”
Despite their terrible record, Hodgson is certain the club can avoid the relegation, with January addition Adam Wharton impressing on Monday. The team’s next fixture is at Everton, followed by a home game against Burnley. “It’s a bad period but it’s been caused by the injury situation,” Hodgson said in a statement. “It’s 14 games [left], a lot of matches and a lot of points and I think we’ve shown enough.”So I’m not concerned, but there’s no room for complacency, and points are critical to getting out of the relegation zone. This bunch of players is good enough, and tonight strengthened my faith and conviction.

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