Pochettino sends clear message to Cole Palmer and Sterling ahead of Man City clash

Pochettino sends clear message to Cole Palmer and Sterling ahead of Man City clash

Mauricio Pochettino has told Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer they must allow themselves celebrate if they score a goal against Manchester City this weekend.

The Blues will travel to Manchester to take on Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad stadium on Saturday evening, hoping to take maximum points, and climb up the Premier League table.

The last time the two sides met, it ended in a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge, with both Sterling and Palmer finding the back of the net for Chelsea. Neither player celebrated their goal out of respect for their former club, but Pochettino has now urged them to do the opposite if they score this time, while reminding them that they no longer play for City, and their loyalty now lies with the Blues.

“If they celebrate, it’s football. If they don’t celebrate and want to show respect, OK, but I think when you score a goal you need to celebrate,” the Chelsea boss said in his pre-match press conference.

“You kill your former club and after you say ‘sorry’. When you play for different shirts and badges and clubs, you cannot stop your feelings.

“When you score, it’s the most beautiful feeling in your body and you cannot go, ‘Argh, no, I don’t want to celebrate.’ You need to. You are now playing for another team.

“You showed respect when you were there and you gave everything to the club and the badge and the people. But now you defend another shirt, you need to celebrate because you are part of another history.”

Cole Palmer has been in great form since making the switch from Man City last summer, scoring 12 goals in 28 matches for Chelsea across all competitions, but for Raheem Sterling, the same hasn’t exactly been the case.

The 29-year-old has now gone nine games without scoring a Premier League goal for Chelsea, and recently became the subject of boos from Chelsea fans, following the 4-2 loss to Wolves two weeks ago, but Pochettino has defended the England international, adding: “He is always positive, always helping, and that’s very important to have a player like that in the project.

“It should be special to score at the Etihad but always it’s special. I don’t believe he needs to prove anything.

“Like Cole, they are both grateful for the period they were there and they talk very highly about the coaching staff, Pep [Guardiola] and the club, the organisation.”

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