How Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino upstages Klopp as Chelsea sack decision crucial

How Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino upstages Klopp as Chelsea sack decision crucial

It could not have felt like more of an end-of-season game if it tried. The sun was shining, there was fancy dress in the crowd and the chants were flying.

And Chelsea were determined to ensure their recent form would continue right down to the very last moment of the season. While they were not at the levels they have been in recent weeks, the Blues did enough to get the job done against Bournemouth on the final day of the campaign.

Moises Caicedo got the ball rolling with a goal you will find so difficult to top. Neto, the Cherries goalkeeper, intercepted a through ball aimed for Raheem Sterling and it eventually fell to Caicedo. The Ecuadorian was just inside the Bournemouth half and he sent a pinpoint shot into the back of the net.

His first goal for Chelsea and what a way, and time, to do it. Sterling himself got on the score sheet in the second-half with his 10th – and final – goal of the season in all competitions.

Enes Unal’s deflected effort offered an immediate reply for the visitors, with it going down as a Benoit Badiashile own goal. But Chelsea held on to cement sixth-place in the Premier League table and some form of European football next term. Here are the main talking points from the match at Stamford Bridge.

Goodbye Thiago Silva

And as always with the final game of the campaign, there were a few emotional farewells. There were numerous people employed by Chelsea working their final day, while the big story was the goodbye to Thiago Silva.

The 39-year-old could not hold back his tears as he addressed the Stamford Bridge faithful with an emotional speech at full-time of the Blues’ 2-1 win against Bournemouth. His wife, Belle Silva, was on the pitch with her husband and she could be seen trying to fight the tears as well.

Silva signed off with “I love you all” and the feeling is very much mutual from the adoring Chelsea crowd. There was not one empty seat in sight – bar the away end – as Silva concluded a fantastic four-year tenure with the west London club.

Pochettino meeting

There was also plenty of attention on Mauricio Pochettino ahead of what is set to be a busy, and extremely defining, few weeks for the Chelsea head coach. The Argentine’s position as boss is set to be reviewed in an end-of-season meeting, although it is not clear when that will take place.

Pochettino met with Todd Boehly, one of Chelsea’s co-owners, on Friday night. While the 52-year-old revealed he had a dinner date with the American billionaire, he would not go into any further detail on what was said during the conversations.

There has, though, been undeniable progress at Chelsea in the recently-concluded season. The campaign ended with the Blues winning five on the bounce and cementing a place in European football next term. Chelsea finished in sixth-place and given all the circumstances that dominated the Blues’ season, that can be seen as a more than respectable finish for Pochettino’s men.

Such progress saw Chelsea finish with 19 more points than last season’s total. No other team in the Premier League recorded a more positive points difference than the Blues, with Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp second on the list with 15 more to their name.

Pochettino will sit down with the club’s board to discuss his future and there will be many talking points but the Argentine coach should certainly bring up how he has inspired a group of young, inexperienced and – by many people’s claims – “immature” players to a European finish in his debut season with the club.

Conor Gallagher contract

While it was a highly emotional day at Stamford Bridge with Silva saying his goodbyes, it was rather fitting that the 39-year-old, who is by far the most experienced player in the squad, is essentially handing over the reins to his younger colleagues. There were plenty of eyes on Conor Gallagher, too, who could have potentially played his final game for the club.


The 24-year-old captained Chelsea more than anyone else throughout the 2023/24 campaign but his future at the club is far from certain as we approach the summer transfer window. Gallagher has just over 12 months left to run on his contract at Stamford Bridge. At the time of writing, there have been no official talks held between the two parties over an extension.

Those in the stands at Stamford Bridge could not have made their stance any clearer. “Doo doo doo doo doo doo, Conor Gallagher” was chanted very loudly when the midfielder went over to take a corner in front of the Matthew Harding Stand in the second half.

Gallagher expressed his appreciation of his adoring fans with a clap and a wave to those chanting his name. There would have been plenty of eyes on the England international during the squad’s lap of honour after full-time.

Last season, Mason Mount was visibly emotional as he walked around the pitch to say goodbye to the Chelsea supporters before he departed to join Manchester United. There was no repeat from Gallagher, not obviously anyway. Whether or not we can read too much into that, we do not know.

Gallagher himself might be a bit in the dark over what is going to happen in the next few months. Pochettino wants the midfielder to remain for the foreseeable future but the Argentine does not have too much of an influence when it comes to transfer decisions, as he consistently states. Nor will he be certain of his future at the club.

A summer full of important decisions for Chelsea. After one of the most emotional of goodbyes, we could still yet see some more farewells over the coming months.

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