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Mauricio Pochettino: 'Nervous' Chelsea fail to back up fourth-place claims

Dara O'Shea scores for Burnley

Mauricio Pochettino's claim that Chelsea "should be in fourth position" in the Premier League looked increasingly questionable after a "disappointing" 2-2 draw with 10-man Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues led twice thanks to goals from Cole Palmer but failed to secure three points against a Clarets side who were a man down for the entirety of the second half following a red card for Lorenz Assignon.

The outcome led to boos from home fans at the final whistle.

"It is a result that shows that we need to improve in many areas if we want to be competitive," Pochettino told BBC Match of the Day.

"So disappointed. We didn't show the consistency and the capacity to deal with and manage the game. We were not aggressive enough in open play and defending set-pieces. We need to improve like a team and be more competitive.

"The team is a little nervous when winning 1-0. It is not only about to work, it is about to evolve and develop some areas in our team to deal better with this type of situation."

What the stats show

Pochettino's remarkable data-based claim about Chelsea's league position came on Friday.

If the former Tottenham boss had made his comments about Chelsea being in the top six instead of fourth, he would have a more widely understandable point.

When compared to the current top four, the Blues are only second behind Liverpool in terms of big chances created with 89 in total and 3.18 on average per game. The Reds have created 92 big chances, 3.29 per game.

The major difference is that Jurgen Klopp's side make the most of their opportunities and are locked in a three-way title race with Arsenal and Manchester City while Chelsea are 11th in the table.

Chelsea's general attacking returns are below par in comparison to the current top four. They have scored 49 league goals, 13 fewer than Aston Villa in fourth. They average 5.36 shots on target per game while Villa have 5.53 and defending champions Manchester City have 7.00.

Against Burnley, Chelsea had 33 shots with 12 of them on target. The total shots tally was their highest in a Premier League match this season and their most for over 10 years in the competition.

'They just don't put the ball in the back of the net'

Nicolas Jackson reacts after missing a chance for Chelsea against Burnley
Nicolas Jackson has often been guilty of missing big chances for Chelsea this term [Getty Images]

Many Chelsea supporters have reached the point where they feel they deserve better and where goodwill is fading.

Burnley, whose manager Vincent Kompany was also red-carded, got back into Saturday's game with goals from Josh Cullen and Dara O'Shea.

"I'm glad he [Mauricio Pochettino] didn't mention for fans to be patient because how much more patient do you need to be?" said former England midfielder Fara Williams on Final Score.

"The xG [expected goals] from today's game alone should have been 3.7 goals that Chelsea should have scored. They dominated in terms of chances created again and they just don't put the ball in the back of the net.

"They allow a 10-man Burnley team back into a game. Burnley probably could have nicked the game, [Jay] Rodriguez hitting the crossbar from a header, and I think Poch is right in talking about the intensity.

"I watched the game from the off and it felt slow. Even when Burnley had 11 men the ball intensity felt slow, there was no aggression with or without the ball. He's right that if Chelsea want to be competitive, if these young players want to improve and get better, those levels need to [go] up for sure."

What the fans said

Chris: At some point you have to question what Poch is actually doing for Chelsea? Most of a season in charge, and we can't even hold a lead against 10-man Burnley. How bad do we have to be before his position is questioned?

Patrick: I would be surprised if Chelsea can keep hold of Palmer over the next season or two. We can't even hold the lead against 10 men relegation candidates.

Daniel: As a Chelsea fan, it is truly baffling what Poch says to the players at half-time. I don't know how many times this season we have either conceded early or our performance has just completely dropped off right after half-time. I have given him time but it is really getting to the point where there has been no improvement, just regression.

Piers: Been a supporter of the owners and Poch throughout everything but the result today, in the circumstances, is the worst of the season. Yes, he's had terrible injuries (Fofana, James, Nkunku, Lavia etc.) but he can't keep using it as an excuse along with age.