‘He wanted Liverpool to lose!’

Mauricio Pochettino has labelled Gary Neville’s ‘billion-pound bottlejobs’ after Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final defeat as ‘unfair’.

Neville called Chelsea ‘billion-pound bottlejobs’ following their defeat to an injury-riddled Liverpool side on Sunday in the Carabao Cup final. The Blues lost in extra-time thanks to a Virgil van Dijk goal, one of the few regular first-teamers on the pitch for Liverpool late in the game thanks to a myriad of injuries.

The defeat to a youthful Liverpool team came despite the huge amount of investment put into the Chelsea first-team squad since Todd Boehly and co took over in 2022, with the new ownership group spending over £1bn on new players in recent transfer windows.

Speaking to the press ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup clash with Leeds United, Pochettino responded to Neville’s comments, saying: “I have a very good relationship with him but that doesn’t mean that maybe sometimes he can be unfair.

Gary Neville

Neville’s comments went viral on Sunday / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

“In my opinion, that was not fair, the comment. He is Manchester United and wanted Liverpool to lose! That was a little bit of it.

“He was frustrated because he was disappointed with the result. He said, ‘I love Pochettino and I was disappointed in this moment’ and he translated his emotions there. I don’t believe he feels like this. When you say something like this it is a big impact and big noise and it is like ‘wow’. He said he feels bad because of what he said.”

Pochettino also lambasted the fixation on how much Chelsea have spent in recent seasons, pointing to the fact that the club have spent on young players rather than on established household names.

“Always it’s Chelsea and it always ­appears ‘£1bn’ and you cannot fight against that idea,” he added. “The problem, which is so annoying, is after eight months people always talk about this £1bn [figure]. I feel it is unfair.

“When Chelsea lose it is always because of, because of, because of [spending too much]. No one says anything negative about [Liverpool or City]. It’s like, if you win, you win, if you lose, you lose, it’s OK. Nothing ­happens. But in Chelsea it is completely different because of the pressure of that £1bn.

“Malo Gusto is 20, Cole Palmer is 21. [They say:] ‘But you paid £50m’. But he’s the same age as a guy who is playing for Liverpool. That is how you judge the team. That is an amazing thing because you say [Liverpool] is a young team – yes, but we were ­younger than them.”


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