Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo both played 90 minutes despite being tired after South Africa qualifiers

Mauricio Pochettino joked Chelsea’s owners would have “killed him” if he had rested tired £200million duo midfield duo Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo against Arsenal

After playing in South American qualifiers for Argentina and Ecuador on Wednesday, both Fernandez and Caicedo played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The two British transfer record signings initially dominated the Arsenal midfield but faded in the second half as Chelsea let a two-goal lead slip.

Pochettino said it is “crazy” to expect Fernandez and Caicedo to perform after their excersions in South America but explained his decision to play them.

“It’s crazy for players to come back from South America on Wednesday and play on Saturday,” he said.

“But if I say ‘OK, I’m going to give them a rest’ you will kill me, for sure if they don’t play – and the owner also!

“Today Caceido and Enzo arrived after two games in America and they were not fresh. But they are important plasters for us.

“It’s really tough to arrive like that. I hope now they can recover and train and in one week be at their best.”

Pochettino refused to blame goalkeeper Robert Sanchez despite his error presenting a goal for Declan Rice that got Arsenal back into the game.

His complaint with his team was about the poor decision making and, with so many players out injured, he says his side is not as settled as the one Mikel Arteta has at Arsenal.

“We didn’t have the facility to have all our squad available and then to pick the starting 11. That is another thing you need to put in your analysis.

“Then look at the form of the players that we had because they came from injuries. Reece James had 15-20 minutes and now he needs time recover his best.

“Maybe one criticism of us was maybe we need to take better decisions in 77 minutes not to concede in the way that we did.

“We gave our opponent the confidence, momentum and the belief to say ‘come on, go’ because it’s was possible with only one goal difference.

“The situation is to live together and improve together and for sure the team has the talent to do that.”

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