Mauricio Pochettino fires Gary Neville accusation as Chelsea boss copies Erik Ten Hag move | Football | Sport

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Virgil van Dijk scored the all-important goal at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, guiding his header past Djordje Petrovic in the 118th minute to send the travelling Liverpool supporters into a frenzy. Chelsea have come under fire following the defeat in extra time after they appeared to be desperate to take the game to penalties despite having a stronger side on the pitch.

Neville was one of the first to stick the knife into the Stamford Bridge outfit, labelling the team ‘billion-pound bottle jobs’ in a stinging remark that has not been forgotten by neutrals. But Pochettino believes that the ex-defender was so keen to criticise Chelsea because he did not want Liverpool to lift the Carabao Cup.

He explained: “He is Manchester United and wanted Liverpool to lose! That was a little bit of it. I don’t need to say anything more about what he said. I said before you can only get hurt when you are not sure about things that are true or not. But I think he was frustrated because he was disappointed with the result.”

Managers hitting back at pundits is becoming a similar trend in recent weeks, with Erik ten Hag recently responding to Jamie Carragher’s critique of Manchester United’s tactics against Fulham – labelling the analysis as ‘subjective’.

Pochettino also made a point of revealing that the repeated mention of Chelsea’s spending sprees is frustrating him. He continued: “The problem is and it is so annoying is after eight months people always talk about, about and about, always this £1billion [figure]. I don’t know. It’s, I feel, unfair. It’s my view from here.‌ Always it’s Chelsea and it always appears ‘one billion’ and you cannot fight against that idea. That is why we need to move on

‌“When Chelsea lose it is always because of, because of, because of [spending too much]. No, the circumstances of Chelsea are the circumstances of Chelsea. When the new owners arrived with the intentions. They wanted to build something different from the past. That’s what we have to understand.”

It remains to be seen whether Pochettino can help his side bounce back to form after the disappointment of the Liverpool defeat, and in turn, begin to justify why the majority of their players fetched significant price tags.

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