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Inside Chelsea’s disrupted pre-match preparations prior to Cole Palmer’s winning penalty vs Fulham



(Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino praised his Chelsea side after revealing they were affected by an incident which occurred pre-match before their 1-0 win against Fulham in the Premier League.

After Raheem Sterling was brought down, Cole Palmer slotted into the back of the net from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time to ensure Chelsea headed into the lead with a slender advantage.

Chelsea managed to hold on to the win, keeping a clean sheet in the process, to climb further up the table heading into the winter break.

With the promotion of the film Argylle happening in the week leading up to Saturday’s game, as well as during it with several actors seen reading a book and brushing their teeth in the first half at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino’s side weren’t hampered in their efforts to bounce back from the defeat to Middlesbrough.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The likes of Dua Lipa and Frank Lampard were spotted in attendance for the west London derby, however Pochettino revealed post-match ‘something happened before the game that I cannot explain’ which disrupted the team in the first 45 minutes.

He told reporters: “Of course, the first half wasn’t the first half that we planned. Something happened before the game that I cannot explain. I think that affected the team a little bit.

“We started the second half really good. I think we played really good football for 30 minutes and should score another goal or one or two and kill the game. When the game is open like this and you don’t kill the game, always in the last minutes we concede a few actions, set pieces and wide free kicks and they have good potential in these situations.

“We defended well and I think it was good for us to suffer a bit at the end. I think this type of game will make us grow and to build confidence in the way we are working.”

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Pressed on his comments on what happened, Pochettino added: “No, no. Nothing. Nothing, sorry. It’s nothing big. Small details that sometimes affect the team.

“You need to know that something affected the performance in my opinion but it’s not important for you or our fans to know, sorry.”

Chelsea’s players now have three days off, Nathan Gissing has revealed, with the squad due to report back to Cobham next Wednesday.