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24th Oct 2023

Enzo Fernandez praised for standing up to Raheem Sterling

Callum Boyle

Enzo Fernandez Raheem Sterling

‘It almost came across as captain-like’

Jamie Carragher praised Enzo Fernandez after he told Raheem Sterling to let Cole Palmer take Chelsea’s penalty in their 2-2 draw against Arsenal on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side surrendered a two-goal lead in at Stamford Bridge as Declan Rice and Leandro Trossard cancelled out the Blues’ advantage.

Mykhailo Mudryk scored Chelsea’s second with a brilliant lob over David Raya however the home side’s opener caused controversy.

After being awarded a penalty, Sterling and Palmer both had eyes on the prize as the latter grabbed the ball to take the spot kick. Sterling however had other ideas and tried to take the ball from the youngster as the two argued over who should take the penalty.

Fernandez then intervened and told Sterling to let Palmer take the penalty as the 20-year-old kept his nerve and converted from the spot to give Chelsea the lead.

While looking back at the incident on Monday Night Football, Carragher admitted that he didn’t like to see players argue over penalties but praised Fernandez’s reaction to break up any chances of tensions overheating.

He said: “I don’t really like that. I think people should know who the penalty taker is before the game.

“The one thing I did like was the authority shown by Enzo Fernandez there. 

“For a young player who’s saying to a seasoned professional in Raheem Sterling, ‘listen, Cole Palmer’s taking it’ and almost in a cool manner it almost came across kind of came across as ‘captain-like’ – Like he’s in his early 30s.”

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