Mauricio Pochettino reviews the Arsenal game
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and ex-Manchester United star Gary Neville both do not believe that Mykhaylo Mudryk’s goal on Sunday was intentional. Chelsea coaches have jumped to the defence of the winger and lauded his improvised finish, though many are far from convinced by the thought process behind the delivery.
The Blues and Arsenal played out an enthralling 2-2 draw on Saturday evening at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea throwing away a two-goal lead late on and forced to settle for a point. Cole Palmer and Mudryk were both on the scoresheet for Mauricio Pochettino’s side after 48 minutes before their rivals were gifted a way back into the match by Robert Sanchez.
A loose pass from the goalkeeper was smashed into an empty net by Arsenal star Declan Rice from distance before Leandro Trossard came off of the bench and tapped home an equaliser with just minutes left on the clock. Pochettino has insisted that he will take plenty of positives from the match, and the Argentine will be pleased with the confidence that Mudryk is playing with.
The ex-Shakhtar Donetsk star’s goal came shortly after the half-time interval when he raced down the wing and lifted an effort over the poorly-positioned David Raya and into the back of the next. Mudryk appeared to be looking to cross the ball to a teammate when assessing his options out wide, but beIN Sport presenter Carrie Brown claims that goalkeeper coach Toni Jimenez has insisted that the strike was intentional and told the forward to keep an eye on Raya leaving his goal line.
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Arteta was shocked when learning of the claims after the match, looking visually surprised by the suggestion given that Mudryk was shooting. He responded: “They said it was intentional? It didn’t seem to me. They see much better. If it’s on purpose, credit to them.”
Similarly, Neville was not convinced that Mudryk was attempting to chip the ball over Raya and into the back of the net from out wide, telling Sky Sports: “His position Raya is not good enough he’s far too far forward that is not good from the Arsenal goalkeeper and that should not end up in the back of the net.
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“It’s meant as a cross for Raheem Sterling from Mudryk. He doesn’t mean to chip him but the fact he can chip him isn’t right. He’s too far forward, there’s no doubt about that. He’s probably a yard too far off his line. He’s beyond the near post; it just isn’t right. Why he’s there you’ll have to ask him.”
Raya has made a couple of costly mistakes since being made Arsenal’s new No.1, joining the club on a loan-to-buy deal from Brentford over the summer. Thus, some are questioning whether signing the Spaniard was the correct decision considering that Aaron Ramsdale has been reduced to being a rotational option despite playing a significant role in the Gunners’ title charge last season.
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