Mauricio Pochettino blessed with six huge Chelsea boosts ahead of Premier League run-in

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino on the touchline during Chelsea's win over West Ham United -Credit:Catherine Ivill – AMA

Chelsea were electrifying on Sunday afternoon as they thrashed West Ham United 5-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Goals from Cole Palmer, Conor Gallagher, Noni Madueke and a double from Nicolas Jackson ensured back-to-back victories in SW6 in the space of just three days. It lifted Chelsea up to seventh-place in the Premier League table with just three matches of the 2023/24 season left to play for the Blues.

In their way now are Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Bournemouth as they look to return to European football next season – something believed to be significant in the club's plans with Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine will see his job role reviewed in the summer by the club, as was always the plan, understands.

Pochettino, though, was reluctant to depict the season a "success" if Chelsea qualify for European competition. "I don't want to say nothing [if it would be a success or not] because from the beginning of the season I said the objective always is to win because we are Chelsea but that created too much pressure," the Chelsea head coach said after the win against West Ham.

"The team is now going to be focusing to rest tomorrow and Tuesday prepare for the game on Saturday. The objective for us is to be mature and to keep the momentum and to compete, improving in every single game.

"We are going to try to be in Europe. It's going to be good for the team and the players to be in Europe next season. But I cannot say it will be a successful season if you do not win a title here at Chelsea. Again, the expectation always is to win titles with Chelsea.

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"Circumstances showed that the reality was really, really tough from day one to arrive today. The staff are happy, the players are so happy because in the really tough moments, we keep pushing. We still believe and we never give up. Even in the circumstances, we were there."

If Manchester City win the FA Cup final against Manchester United, then sixth-place will qualify for the Europa League. However, if United manage to beat their city rivals, then sixth-place would be the last European spot available.

As of right now, the Blues sit in seventh-place, two points below Newcastle United in sixth. Chelsea could finish today (Monday) back down in eighth, though, if Man United manage to get a point or more against Crystal Palace later this evening.

Fortunately for Chelsea, with the three-game stretch until the end of the season, they have been boosted by the return of several key players from injury. Six, to be exact, with Thiago Silva, Axel Disasi, Christopher Nkunku, Malo Gusto, Raheem Sterling and Levi Colwill all in the squad that beat West Ham at the weekend.

Silva, the most popular figure at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in what was his penultimate match in SW6, returned to the back-line to partner Benoit Badiashile in the centre of defence. The 39-year-old was imperious at the back for Chelsea as they kept a second successive clean sheet.

Disasi, Nkunku and Gusto all came on in the second-half at Stamford Bridge. The most significant return of the French trio was Nkunku, who received a huge ovation when entering the pitch with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

Meanwhile, Sterling and Colwill, who have both had spells out with back and toe injuries respectively, were unused substitutes on the afternoon. Pochettino will be wary about rushing some of the contingent back given Chelsea's horrid luck with injuries this season.

Either way, to have six key players back for the remainder of the season is a huge boost for Pochettino. Lesley Ugochukwu, understands, is very close to being back in the squad as well after returning to first-team training recently.