The Blues boss has revealed that Noni Madueke was not supposed to take the club’s match-winning penalty against Crystal Palace.
Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he planned for Conor Gallagher to take the penalty that won the match for Chelsea against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Instead, Noni Madueke did the honors, and he didn’t disappoint at Stamford Bridge. The winger cooly sent Palace keeper Dean Henderson the wrong way to score Chelsea’s second goal and seal a 2-1 victory.
“It was Conor [Gallagher] and I said to him: ‘It’s you. But if you’re not confident enough, give it [to] Noni,'” Pochettino said after the match on who was supposed to take the spot-kick.
The goal was Madueke’s second of the season, and his first in this Premier League campaign. The 21-year-old has had an injury-hit first year at Chelsea after joining the club from PSV Eindhoven for €35 million in January.
Madueke has only played eight Premier League games in 2023/24, including one as a starter. Yet, even though he was a 71st-minute substitute in the Palace game, he still made the difference.
“I am so glad and so happy,” Pochettino said of Madueke. “He came from the bench and showed this hunger and confidence.”
Chelsea will play their final game of 2023 on Saturday when they visit Luton Town in the Premier League.