Mauricio Pochettino admits Reece James’ red card was ‘painful’ for Chelsea

mauricio pochettino Reece James’s late red card was “painful” after Chelsea moved closer to European qualification with a 2-1 Premier League win at Brighton.

Blues captain James was sent off for the second time in an injury-plagued season for kicking out Seagulls striker Joao Pedro in the 88th minute at the Amex Stadium.

The England defender, who came on in the 69th minute for his second appearance following hamstring surgery in December, has been banned for four matches and may not play again until then. gareth southgate Announced its preliminary Euro 2024 squad.

target from cole palmer And substitute Christopher Nkunku lifted Chelsea to sixth – three points below fifth-placed Tottenham and three above Newcastle and Manchester United – heading into the final day at Bournemouth’s home ground.

Blues boss Pochettino said of James’ costly relegation, “It’s difficult to give my opinion because I didn’t have time to see the action.”

“Maybe it’s his frustration.

“But, yes, painful. Sad because it was a great night of football and he’s our captain and a really important player.

“I’m disappointed because now he’ll miss the next game and probably some games next season.”

Brighton substitute Danny Welbeck claimed an additional consolation when Palmer recorded his 22nd Premier League goal of the season with a first-half looping header and Nkunku equalized in the 64th minute.

Albion captain Lewis Dunk is now a doubt for the upcoming European Championship in Germany after suffering a knee injury at half-time of the eventful tie.

Seagulls head coach asked if centre-back is OK Roberto de Zerbi Replied: “No, because the replacement was for an injury.

“I hope it won’t be a big problem for him.

“I don’t know whether he will be available for Sunday (against Manchester United), but the possibility of him being available for the Euros is more important.”

On the day it was announced that top-tier clubs would vote on whether to scrap VAR for next season, technology played a major role at Sussex.

Chelsea had a first-half penalty awarded overturned as replays showed that Albion forward Facundo Buonote had won the ball when tackling Mark Cucurella, while James was ruled out after interference from Stockley Park.

However, referee Michael Salisbury did not review the pitch-side monitor when Seagulls winger Simon Edingara was fouled by Malo Gusto at 1–0.

De Zerbi felt his team were denied a forceful penalty and criticized Salisbury’s performance, while expressing sympathy for James, who was shown a red card during Chelsea’s 4–1 defeat at Newcastle in November. Was.

“We have to talk about the level of referees as much as the level of coaches,” said the Italian.

“Behind VAR, there are people and we have to analyze the level of refereeing.

“I didn’t like the referee today. But not for the penalty because if we had won or lost this game (in terms of league position) nothing would have changed for us.

“I didn’t like the personality, the control of the game.

“I am sorry for James’s red card because I think it was a normal reaction.

“If you’ve played football in your life that might be the reaction but Edingara’s penalty was clear, it was clear from my bench. On TV, it’s more obvious.”