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Spurs should be happy with current Premier League position, insists Pochettino

Spurs should be happy with current Premier League position, insists Pochettino
© Reuters
Arsenal can close the gap on their north London rivals to one point with victory at Wembley on Saturday lunchtime.

Mauricio Pochettino reckons Tottenham would be delighted to be in their present Premier League position had it been offered to them at the start of the season.

A 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on Wednesday night followed last Saturday's loss at Burnley and lessened Spurs' already slim Premier League title hopes. Leaders Liverpool and second-placed Manchester City are nine and eight points clear, respectively.

Pochettino's men are four points ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal, their opponents at Wembley on Saturday, with Manchester United a point further back and Chelsea seven points adrift of Spurs with a game in hand.

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham were disappointing in Wednesday's loss at Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA)

Pochettino said: "Everyone from the beginning of the season should be satisfied with that position before playing on Saturday, with the possibility of playing against Arsenal at Wembley with the gap at four points.

"The pressure is on them, not only us."

Pochettino acknowledges the occasion of a derby, but says every game is significant.

"Today Chelsea and Arsenal are the same level in terms of rivalry," he added.

"We are playing Fulham, Watford, West Ham, Arsenal, Chelsea... they're all London derbies.

"We are going to try and win the game because they're so important for the fans. But Burnley was important for the fans, too.

"The rivalry is so important because of the history, but every game, for us, is so important."

Tottenham did not get a shot on target throughout the match in a disappointing performance at Stamford Bridge and were undone by poor moments in defence.

Pedro seized upon uncertainty and shot between Hugo Lloris' legs before the Spurs goalkeeper was beaten by Kieran Trippier's own goal in a costly misunderstanding.

Lloris said: "Obviously the goals we conceded we could have avoided, then we need to do more defensively and offensively. Only together we can find the solution."

Pedro
Pedro scored Chelsea's first in the win over Tottenham (Simon Cooper/PA)

Chelsea next play at Fulham on Sunday and have 11 games remaining, one more than their rivals for Champions League qualification.

Pedro told Chelsea TV: "These kind of games for us are so important, to recover our confidence, our best football.

"Now every game is a final for us, to get the points until the end to get in the top four."

The build-up for Chelsea was overshadowed by Kepa Arrizabalaga's refusal to be substituted in Sunday's Carabao Cup final with Manchester City, which the Blues lost 4-3 on penalties.

Willy Caballero and Kepa Arrizabalaga
Willy Caballero, left, started for Chelsea against Tottenham as Kepa Arrizabalaga was demoted (Nick Potts/PA)

Willy Caballero took Kepa's place against Spurs, as the world's most expensive goalkeeper was demoted two days after being fined a week's wages for the incident.

Pedro alluded to the challenging build-up, saying: "It's been a difficult situation this week, speaking about Kepa and Willy.

"For us, it's good. The most important thing is to stay focused on the game.

"A great result for us. It's so important to win this derby in front of our supporters."


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Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in action during the EFL Cup final against Manchester City on February 24, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool35277179205988
2Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal34206868432566
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd34197863481564
7Everton35147145044649
8Watford34147134949049
9Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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