Pochettino: Chelsea will reach Man City’s level

Mauricio Pochettino declared that Chelsea will again reach the same level as Manchester City following their 1-1 draw with the champions.

A late Rodri equaliser denied Chelsea victory at the Etihad Stadium but the performance indicated that progress is being made despite a difficult first season at the helm for boss Pochettino.

And the Argentine is confident that his club will eventually be re-established as one of the Premier League’s heavyweights.

He said: “It was a great performance. I told the players I feel so pleased and I congratulated them because the effort was massive and the spirit we showed is the way we want to compete.

“With the talent we have, we will reach one day the level that we respect. To play against a team that is the best in the world is never easy and the character we showed, and the personality, made me very happy.

“For, us, this was a really important game to give momentum and realise that we are in a good way and improving.

“Still we are not on the level of Manchester City, but that is our aim. We are a very young team that needs to live these type of games to improve.”

Raheem Sterling scored on his return to his former club and Pochettino praised the Harlesden-raised forward, who worked hard before going off in the second half.

“It’s important for attacking players to score goals and feel confident, and then he was working hard for the team,” Pochettino said.

“He was always in a position to help the team and our defensive line. It was a good performance and so important for us to help achieve a good point.”