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Mauricio Pochettino makes shock Chelsea penalty shootout admission after Carabao Cup final defeat



Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that his Chelsea team were playing for penalties in extra-time after defeat to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.

Chelsea lost out after Virgil van Dijk scored a 118th-minute winning header, and it was deserved after their approach following the final whistle of normal time.

Liverpool entered extra-time with several youngsters – who had barely played for Jurgen Klopp’s first team – on the pitch, and they were fortunate not to concede in the latter minutes of the game beforehand.

READ MORE: Player Ratings: Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool (AET) | Carabao Cup Final

However, Chelsea lost their drive and hunger to attack in those additional minutes and provided the inexperienced Liverpool side a platform to eventually grab the winning goal.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Speaking on the difficulties in extra time after the game, Pochettino suggested that the energy levels of the team forced the change in approach and surprisingly revealed that his players were hoping to reach penalties as a way to win the cup.

“Look, of course, it was difficult. Of course, after we are frustrated,” he told reporters. “The players feel the disappointment. We were so close to winning the game after 90 minutes. They started to lose their energy.

“[Ben] Chilly felt really, really tired. Gallagher, after five minutes, we needed to change.

“The team felt maybe the penalties would be good for us.”

(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Pochettino’s side had a full week of rest before the game, whilst Liverpool had played on the Wednesday against Luton Town in the Premier League.

Ultimately, it will be the missed chances within the 90 minutes which will be most frustrating, with several players unable to dispatch golden opportunities to take the lead in the game.

“They are professional,” he added, speaking on his Chelsea squad. “They are very competitive, and now we need to move forward. They need to feel the pain. Nothing you can tell me can make me feel better. Nothing. They need to feel the pain like us.”