Pochettino threatens to axe players after Chelsea row

Maurico Pochettino warned players will be axed if there is any repeat of an extraordinary scuffle between Chelsea team-mates during the 6-0 thrashing of Everton.

The brilliant Cole Palmer scored four of the goals, with his fourth coming from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Abdoulaye Doucouré.

Despite Palmer being the designated taker, having scored eight out of eight previously for Chelsea, Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke both aggressively vied to take it and were furious when captain Conor Gallagher intervened and insisted Palmer be given the task.

They even continued to protest after Palmer calmly converted.

Boss Pochettino said neither Jackson nor Madueke would be disciplined by the club for the incident – but made his anger clear and insisted he would not tolerate anything similar happening again.

“Next time they’re out. It’s not a joke,” Pochettino told Sky Sports.

“It’s impossible to behave like this. It will not happen again.”

Later, speaking at his post-match press conference, he said: “I want to make clear that the players know and the club know that the taker on penalties is Cole Palmer.

“What happened is a shame. I am so, so upset about the situation. We were talking in the dressing room about the image that we sent to those watching the game. We cannot send this type of image.

“I want to apologise to football people and our fans. Discipline is the most important thing in the team. It is a collective sport.

“Of course players need to show that they have the hunger to score goals. But I’m not going to accept this kind of behaviour again.

“I am not going to accept this. I was telling them and I promise this is not going to happen again. We cannot show this type of behaviour.

“We all agree this cannot happen and they were wrong. They have to learn. If they don’t learn then, yes, we take some decision. But now it’s about learning.”

Palmer’s goals made it back-to-back hat-tricks at Stamford Bridge for the 21-year-old, 11 goals in his past six matches and 23 for the season.

It also made Palmer the first Chelsea player to score more than 20 goals in a campaign since Eden Hazard in 2018-19 – and the first-ever Blues player to score in seven successive Premier League matches at the Bridge.

“The way he’s playing and performing is fantastic. It’s amazing for him and the team,” Pochettino said.