Mauricio Pochettino demands Chelsea duo ‘celebrate’ against Man City | Football

Mauricio Pochettino says players must ‘kill their former club’ (Photo: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino has sent a strong message to two of his Chelsea players that they must celebrate if they score against Manchester City.

Chelsea travel to the Etihad on Saturday evening, with City looking to potentially go top of the Premier League with a win.

The Blues meanwhile are desperate for three points as they look to climb up the table, with the club currently 10th and 13 points off the top four.

Pochettino will once again be relying on talisman Cole Palmer to produce the goods, with the England international enjoying a fine first season at Stamford Bridge after leaving City last summer.

The 21-year-old has scored 12 goals and made nine assists in 28 appearances so far, including a stoppage time penalty against his boyhood club back in November.

Also hoping to make an impact is Raheem Sterling, who has been criticised of late due to some poor performances and a goal drought in the league that has stretched to nine games.

Both scored in the crazy 4-4 draw against City earlier this season, and as former Citizens their celebrations were mutes, but Pochettino has demanded that the pair did not show restraint this time around.

Chelsea FC v Manchester City - Premier League

Cole Palmer’s celebration was muted despite scoring an injury time equaliser against Man City (Photo: Getty)

‘If they celebrate, it’s football. If they don’t celebrate and want to show respect, OK, but I think when you score a goal you need to celebrate,’ the Chelsea boss said in his pre-match press conference.

‘You kill your former club and after you say “sorry”. When you play for different shirts and badges and clubs, you cannot stop your feelings.

‘When you score, it’s the most beautiful feeling in your body and you cannot go, “Argh, no, I don’t want to celebrate.” You need to. You are now playing for another team.

Raheem Sterling also toned down his celebration after scoring against his former club (Photo: Getty)

‘You showed respect when you were there and you gave everything to the club and the badge and the people. But now you defend another shirt, you need to celebrate because you are part of another history.’

Sterling was recently jeered by his own fans, with his Chelsea spell not going at all to plan so far, but Pochettino has defended the winger, adding: ‘He is always positive, always helping, and that’s very important to have a player like that in the project.

‘It should be special to score at the Etihad but always it’s special. I don’t believe he needs to prove anything.

‘Like Cole, they are both grateful for the period they were there and they talk very highly about the coaching staff, Pep [Guardiola] and the club, the organisation.’

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