‘Really good from the manager’ – Gallagher pinpoints key Mauricio Pochettino tactical change to help Chelsea overcome terrible first-half in Crystal Palace win
Conor Gallagher gave Mauricio Pochettino credit for the tactical adjustment that enabled Chelsea to overcome Crystal Palace on Monday, coming back from behind.
At Selhurst Park, a Jefferson Lerma screamer initially put Chelsea behind. However, Gallagher immediately tied the score after the break before giving the Blues a crucial second goal in stoppage time. Even later, Enzo Fernandez made it 3-1, and Sky Sports then interviewed Gallagher.
Gallagher heaped praise on his manager, stating: “In the second half the gaffer gave us more structure in their half of the pitch to try and create more chances. Having the two strikers to make more runs in behind to create more space which I think it did. It was really good from the manager and definitely helped us to play better.”
Gallagher is making his mark on Chelsea this season in a way that he couldn’t in 2022/23 when he he started fewer than half the team’s games. So far in 2023/24, the 24-year-old has started all but one of Chelsea’s Premier League fixtures, even captaining the side before Ben Chilwell returned from injury. More recently, Pochettino has deployed Gallagher as a ‘number 10’, despite fans more used to seeing him a bit deeper.
On his positional preference, he added: “I’ve played in a number of positions this season, more so holding midfield. I’m happy to play anywhere for the manager. I’m happy wherever I play. No problem.”
Chelsea must build on their recent winning streak of two games—the FA Cup replay success over Aston Villa midweek and the victory over Palace—because an ugly home loss to Wolves still stings. This is especially significant since, the following weekend, following the Premier League matchup with Manchester City, Liverpool will play in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley, providing Pochettino with his first major trophy win as manager.