Chelsea’s penalty row the latest episode in Stamford Bridge soap opera

Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson of Chelsea argue over a penalty kick during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on April 15, 2024 in London, England

Usually when a team wins a game 6-0, the scoreline is the biggest talking point of the match. Not for Chelsea.

After Monday night’s thrashing of Everton at Stamford Bridge, Mauricio Pochettino bemoaned his team’s lack of experience and leadership calling some of his players “kids” who “are like in a school” following an on-pitch squabble over who took a penalty when 4-0 up.

However, this is not the first time Chelsea’s players have shown a lack of maturity this season. Here, Telegraph Sport looks at five embarrassing moments in the Chelsea soap opera so far this season.

November 25, 2023: James second yellow card vs Newcastle

Having replaced the departed Cesar Azpilicueta as club captain at the start of the season, this was meant to be the campaign where Reece James stepped up as a leader for a young Chelsea side. This has not come to fruition, as the right-back has missed much of the season through injury.

But even when he has played, he has not always lived up to his leadership role. With Chelsea down by two away at Newcastle and James already on a booking, he foolishly tried to chip the ball over Anthony Gordon towards his own goal, only to lose out to the speedy winger in a footrace.

Chelsea's Reece James leaves the pitch after being shown a red card by referee Simon Hooper
Reece James was shown red at St James' Park earlier this season - Reuters/Scott Heppell

James then pulled Gordon’s shirt, causing him to go down, and leaving the referee with no choice but to brandish a second yellow card. They would go on to suffer a 4-1 defeat.

February 4, 2024: Silva’s wife calls for Pochettino to be sacked

Chelsea have not only suffered embarrassing moments on the pitch this season, but also off it. Following a miserable 4-2 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, which came just days after a 4-1 thumping at Liverpool, Belle Silva, Thiago Silva’s wife, published an incendiary post on social media calling for Pochettino to be removed from his position.

“It’s time to change. If you wait any longer it will be too late,” she wrote, in a post which has still not been deleted. After the post received traction and forced Silva himself to have a word with Pochettino, she eventually apologised three days later.

Given Silva’s seniority and role as one of the leaders in the team, this was not the sort of thing that would fill Chelsea fans with confidence about the dressing room.

March 17, 2024: Sterling and Palmer argue over penalty

Leading Leicester City 1-0 in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, Chelsea were awarded a penalty. Usual penalty-taker Cole Palmer, who had converted all five of his penalties in a Chelsea shirt up to that point, had the ball in his hands and was ready to take another. But Raheem Sterling decided he wanted to take the spot-kick, and after a brief discussion, Palmer reluctantly agreed.

Sterling then proceeded to produce one of the tamest efforts you will see all season, with the forward rolling his kick straight down the middle, proving no problem at all for Leicester goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk. The miss could have proved costly, with Leicester eventually tying the game at 2-2.

Later on, Chelsea received a free-kick in a promising spot at the edge of the box. With Palmer and Sterling standing over it, one would assume Sterling would hand over the responsibility to Chelsea’s young star. Instead, he again took it on himself, horrifically skying the free-kick wayward.

April 4, 2024: Madueke and Palmer argue over penalty

With Chelsea trailing 2-3 in the 10th minute of stoppage time at home to Manchester United, they were granted a lifeline, after being awarded a penalty.

As expected, Palmer stepped up to take it but was then confronted by Noni Madueke who appeared to want to take the spot-kick himself. Palmer clung onto the ball, before various Chelsea players stepped in to physically drag Madueke away from the scene.

April 15, 2024: Madueke and Jackson squabble over penalty

Arguably Chelsea’s most petulant, embarrassing moment of the season came in the 6-0 rout over Everton. With Palmer already on a hat-trick, he was keen to take the penalty. However, some of his team-mates had other ideas, and stepped in to take the ball from him.

Madueke then held it and would not give it back to Palmer, as Chelsea’s top scorer demanded him to hand it over. Captain Conor Gallagher stepped in to diffuse the situation and eventually got the ball to Palmer, only for Nicolas Jackson to join the fray. Jackson tried to grab the ball back before Palmer physically shoved him away, before dispatching the penalty.