Chelsea halted an undesirable streak in the Premier League by clinching a victory against Luton Town on Saturday.
The Blues had suffered four consecutive away defeats before their trip to Kenilworth Road, facing setbacks against Newcastle, Manchester United, Everton, and Wolves over the past month.
Cole Palmer took the spotlight, contributing two goals and an assist, putting Chelsea in control until the 70th minute.
However, late strikes from former Chelsea star Ross Barkley and Elijah Adebayo made the final minutes nervy, with Thiago Silva and Djordje Petrovic making crucial efforts to secure the points.
Despite the close call, manager Pochettino lauded his players for their performance. “I am so pleased because I think it is never easy,” he said after the game. ”
The Premier League is like this, if you see games like Arsenal, Liverpool, City, Newcastle, you understand the difficulty of playing here in this atmosphere.
They believe in the way they play, have excellent players, and a very good coach, and it is tough to play here. We needed the three points and we got what we wanted.”
Although the victory placed Chelsea in tenth position, 12 points behind the top four, a fierce battle is anticipated for European spots.
Here’s a look at some of Chelsea’s rivals and their upcoming fixtures heading into 2024:
Fulham (H) – January 13
Chelsea faces Fulham in an FA Cup clash before a London derby at Stamford Bridge. Pochettino aims for another league double following the earlier 2-0 victory at Craven Cottage.
Liverpool (A) – January 31
After the Premier League winter break, Chelsea heads to Anfield for a clash against Liverpool. The Reds, without Mohamed Salah, could impact their chances in this game.
Wolves (H) – February 4
Seeking revenge for their Christmas Eve defeat, Chelsea faces Wolves, who secured a 2-1 victory in the previous encounter.
Crystal Palace (A) – February 12
In another London derby, Chelsea visits Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace, who recently ended a dismal run of form with a win against Brentford.
Manchester City (A) – February 17
A challenging fixture awaits Chelsea as they travel to Etihad Stadium for a clash against reigning champions Manchester City.
Note: The schedules and opponents for Chelsea’s rivals (Man United, Tottenham, Brighton, West Ham, Newcastle) are also outlined for reference.