Mauricio Pochettino apologises to Brentford over Jesus Perez red card in Chelsea defeat
The assistant was sent off as tempers boiled over.
The Blues have been overtaken in the Premier League table by their west London neighbours, slipping down to 11th place, after losing at home for the third time this season.
Pochettino’s side actually made a bright start to the match and had Brentford penned back inside their own box for large spells, but they failed to convert their pressure and chances into a goal.
Ethan Pinnock then headed the visitors ahead on the half-hour mark from a corner before Bryan Mbuemo wrapped up the victory in stoppage time, stroking the ball into an empty net after Robert Sanchez had gone up for a late corner.
The west London derby was a somewhat heated affair – as much off the pitch as on it – and assistant coach Jesus Perez was sent off by referee Simon Hooper after he clashed with Brentford’s coaching staff in the second half.
Pochettino has now apologised on behalf of his long-serving assistant and says he was simply trying to get the ball back quickly from in front of the visitors’ dugout so Chelsea could restart the match in their search for an equaliser that never came.
Perez usually joins Pochettino at his press conferences to provide translation assistance but was absent after the match, with the Argentine saying: ‘Yeah, because in the rules he cannot go to the [other team’s technical area].
‘We apologise to Brentford and apologise to the referee because he wanted to take the ball in front of Brentford. Nothing more than this.
‘It’s normal. They said, “What are you doing here?” and he said, “I want to take the ball”. That’s it. Nothing more.’
Asked if Perez was not permitted to join him at the post-match press conference as a result of the red card, Pochettino replied: ‘I think the rule is to be banned. I think it is better to stay away.’
Reflecting on the defeat, the Chelsea boss continued: ‘I think the analysis of the defeat is clear because after the first half we should score and we didn’t score. It is easy when you dominate and create chances and you don’t concede chances and the opponent doesn’t cross the halfway line.
‘I think you should score. If you don’t score you need to blame yourself and we are going to blame ourselves because we were not nasty or clinical in front of the goal. We created chances but did not score.
‘Sometimes you need some luck, you know, to score and after the game changed in the second half but I think we give the belief because we didn’t score and the second half, I think we cannot concede these types of goals. It was our mistake. That is why we lose the game.’
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