Chelsea ‘disappointed’ as Mauricio Pochettino weighs in on Moises Caicedo debut | Football | Sport

Chelsea were left ‘disappointed’ by their 3-1 loss to West Ham but Mauricio Pochettino refused to criticise new signing Moises Caicedo despite a poor debut. The midfielder joined the Blues from Brighton earlier this week in a deal worth £115million but his performance fell well below that price tag when he took to the pitch on Sunday.

The Blues were emphatically beaten at the London Stadium despite enjoying the majority of possession and crafting several clear-cut openings, especially in the first half. Nayef Aguerd opened the scoring for the Hammers from a corner in the seventh minute before Chelsea hit back through Carney Chukwuemeka.

Pochettino’s side could have headed into the half-time break ahead after they were awarded a penalty, but Enzo Fernandez saw his effort saved by Alphonse Areola. The miss proved costly, with Michail Antonio and Lucas Paqueta scoring either side of Aguerd being sent off for two bookable offences.

West Ham’s third goal came from the penalty spot, with Caicedo clumsily taking down Emerson in a moment that summed up his debut for the Blues. However, Pochettino refused to be drawn into criticising the performance of his new No 25 despite all of his mistakes.

The ex-Tottenham manager: “When we took the decision to play with him for the last 30 minutes, it’s because he’s ready to play. He did well, very positive things. You cannot say it was massively wrong. He will be disappointed, we are all disappointed because I think we deserved more.”

Caicedo was named as a substitute against West Ham, with his lack of match fitness – having hardly featured in pre-season for Brighton – credited as the reason for his absence. Though some may feel that the occasion and newly-acquired price tag may have influenced what was a debut to forget for the Ecuador international.

Speaking to Match of the Day about Caicedo giving a penalty away, Pochettino added: “It was a very negative impact to the team. We played well in the first half and then it was difficult in the second half, we didn’t find the right way to play and we did change the shape.

“We were rushing the decisions and pushing decisions to make chances and that happens as the team is new – I am sure we will start winning games.” Chelsea will be hoping to win their first match of the season on Friday when they host newly-promoted Luton Town at Stamford Bridge. And Caicedo will hope for more minutes to put things right.

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