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Chelsea star Palmer says ‘all the players love’ Pochettino

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Cole Palmer has backed Mauricio Pochettino and says ‘all the players’ love the Chelsea manager as the Blues continued their upturn in form at Brighton.

Chelsea need just a point from their final day fixture against Bournemouth to secure European football for next season after beating Brighton 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Palmer and Christopher Nkunku were on the scoresheet as Chelsea secured a fourth consecutive Premier League win on the south coast.

Palmer opened the scoring with a looping header from Marc Cucurella’s cross, with the 21-year-old’s goal his 22nd in the Premier League this season.

Nicolas Jackson then had a goal disallowed for the West Londoners though Chelsea did eventually double their lead after the break. Christopher Nkunku came off the bench to convert from Malo Gusto’s cross and the Frenchman – who has endured an injury-plagued debut campaign with the Blues – followed with his trademark balloon celebration.

A positive night for Chelsea ended on a bad note when Reece James was sent off for violent conduct, with the Chelsea captain dismissed for a petulant kick out at Joao Pedro. It was a second red card of the campaign for James who will miss the opening fixtures of next season as a result.

Brighton hit the bar through Simon Adingra late on before scoring a late consolation through Danny Welbeck. Chelsea held on, however, and are now a point from Europe ahead of Bournemouth’s visit to Stamford Bridge this weekend.

“We needed three points and it was hard towards the end but for it to be in our hands to get sixth place is a big thing for us, Palmer said as per BBC Sport.

“Marc [Cucurella] knows where I’m going to be and I lifted it [the header] over the goalkeeper.

“Chelsea is a big club and everyone wants to finish higher than sixth but you have to look at where we were at the start of the season so to get back into Europe would be a step in the right direction.

“All credit to the manager. All the players love the manager and want to fight for him.”

Read – Five Premier League players who need more minutes next year 

See more – Eight big Premier League names out of contract in 2025

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