Tuesday, January 31

Chelsea affected by acquainted issues in Graham Potter’s debut as Blues drop extra Champions League factors


Spare a thought for Thomas Tuchel if he was watching his previous flame with their new beau. Loads of possession, elegant build-up, loads of width however not the photographs and targets to replicate all that? He had been delivering that for months on finish at Stamford Bridge.

And so Graham Potter’s first sport in cost concluded quite as Tuchel’s final act had with a late barrage of photographs not sufficient to save lots of a day the place Chelsea did not make hay when the solar shone. A 1-1 house draw with Red Bull Salzburg to observe the loss at Dinamo Zagreb. It will likely be some time but earlier than the brand new supervisor can take into consideration matching his predecessor’s Champions League success in his first 12 months. For now, he has to consider getting out of the group.

To achieve this he wants to handle the problems that bedeviled Tuchel from day one to the tip of his Chelsea regime. For all the celebrities that Chelsea can deploy of their assault, they make extraordinarily heavy work of getting good photographs away at aim. Not till Hakim Ziyech volleyed straight at aim within the third minute of added time did the hosts higher Salzburg’s tally of three photographs on the right track. In the primary half, the hosts accomplished greater than thrice the variety of passes of the Austrian ide, Reece James and Raheem Sterling alone had one fewer contact within the attacking third than Salzburg’s 54. They turned all that dominance into zero photographs on the right track and 0.55 anticipated targets (xG).

Seventy p.c of the ball and 1.01 xG on the ultimate whistle was a meager however acquainted return, and there are many holdovers to fret Potter. Mason Mount remains to be with out a aim this season although it ought to be famous that he regarded very comfortable with the defensive necessities positioned on him in a deeper function. Kai Havertz appears to have all of the expertise on the planet however requires probably the most completely honed of programs to permit him to use it. Perhaps most regarding of all was that solely when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made manner for Armando Broja did Chelsea appear to have tempo in behind.

Still, each supervisor is allowed blips early in his tenure. After all, Tuchel’s started with the dropping of Mount, probably the most emblematic of gamers of Frank Lampard’s tenure, however the England worldwide was quickly in his coach’s greatest books. And Potter may replicate that his system did loads to maintain Salzburg away from aim till a sensible transfer into house down the left within the seventy fifth minute. Even from then on defenders as skilled as Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta might and normally will do higher than they did in permitting Noah Okafor to attain.

Meanwhile, while the capturing numbers don’t bounce off the web page, you could possibly sense from the numbers attacking the field within the first half that this may grow to be a extra front-footed aspect. They will nonetheless use possession to insure themselves towards counters on the again however who’ve a barely looser leash, slightly extra license to stand up the pitch and keep there.

Nowhere was the tweak extra obvious than on the left flank, the place Raheem Sterling discovered himself lined up. In idea, he was the left wing-back however the Stamford Bridge crowd would not confuse him for Ashley Cole in his pomp. No tackles, no clearances, no interceptions, three of 11 duels gained: for a lot of in his place this might be a disastrous evening.

But the statistics that mattered for Sterling have been the eight touches within the penalty space, the 2 photographs, and most significantly of all, the Forty eighth-minute strike that fired Chelsea into the lead. He alone stood out because the participant you’d belief with a giant probability on this evening so at occasions it did really feel curious that the 27-year-old attacker was withdrawn from the motion, although it clearly enhanced the Blues’ build-up play. He would reveal after the sport that Potter had tasked him with pinning again younger proper again Amar Dedic, who scarcely ever superior past the midway line. With Marc Cucurella free to advance from his left heart again function and Mateo Kovacic drifting vast this was the hazard zone for Salzburg.

“I believe with how we performed, the probabilities we created, we dominated,” stated Sterling. “It’s a nasty end result in the long run, however we performed some good soccer at occasions. I took the prospect however we have now to complete the job off. It felt like we have been in management, however one probability one aim for them.”

In the primary half specifically it felt inevitable that multiple aim would come. But then it usually does with Chelsea. The aim is coming any second now, only a second, grasp on, it is going to be with you shortly. And even when it does ultimately arrive you may must make do with only one. That can’t be sufficient, notably if the protection shouldn’t be the finely tuned machine that Tuchel solid within the spring of 2021.

As participant gross sales and accidents robbed him of the supremely efficient unit that carried his aspect to Champions League glory, final season it felt Tuchel turned ever extra obsessive about fixing the protection first. He would get the foundations in place earlier than constructing a palace match for his attacking skills. In the tip, he was by no means given the time. In his place, Potter appeared to be making an attempt for one thing totally different within the first sport of many, making an attempt to spark a hearth on the entrance of his aspect within the hope it’ll sweep via any menace his opposition may pose. If that’s to work he’ll want his forwards to complete way more clinically than they have been for his predecessor.


2022-09-15 03:57:13 James Benge

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