Chelsea overcame a formidable Pink Bull Salzburg to eke out a 2-1 victory in Austria and safe their place within the Champions League knockout levels with a recreation to spare.
Following a touching tribute to Pink Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz who handed away on Saturday, the sport kicked off in explosive style with either side getting ahead freely and having fun with area to assault into, inside a boisterous Pink Bull Area. As soon as Chelsea perked up and pulled forward, although, they dominated proceedings, enjoying Salzburg off the park by way of to half-time.
Die Roten Bullen levelled issues up virtually instantly after the break as the sport burst into life as soon as extra, with either side exchanging blows in what was a unbelievable recreation of soccer. Chelsea wanted extra to get previous a formidable, younger Salzburg facet, and so they bought precisely that when Kai Havertz fired them again in entrance within the sixty fourth minute.
Chelsea virtually capitalised on Bernardo’s poor header mere moments after the primary whistle, with Havertz colliding with Salzburg goalkeeper Philipp Kohn’s head in making an attempt to beat him to the ball. He was in a position to proceed, although, and the hosts swiftly grew into proceedings after an early spell of Chelsea dominance.
Matthias Jaissle’s facet had been inflicting Chelsea issues when making an attempt to construct their assaults, packing their midfield tight to pressure them vast or lengthy. However simply as that appeared to be working, a cross into the field was defended poorly and several other missed challenges noticed the ball fall into the trail of an unmarked Mateo Kovacic, who smashed it past Kohn for 1-0.
It ought to’ve been 2-0 after half an hour when Chelsea seamlessly evaded an aggressive press to string collectively a unbelievable workforce transfer which set Havertz by way of in a two vs one state of affairs. He then squared for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, however the ahead fluffed his strains.
Havertz spurned a wonderful likelihood himself minutes later, assembly an excellent cross with an underwhelming header. Aubameyang did a lot better with a harder likelihood on the cusp of half-time, forcing Kohn into yet one more save.
Salzburg flew out of the traps after the break, and regardless of being denied a penalty by VAR, they drew degree after 49 minutes. An beautiful cross from Maximilian Wober was met by an equally as spectacular end on the again put up by Junior Adamu, punishing Chelsea’s wastefulness.
After developing with the products at one finish, Adamu was the hero once more 4 minutes later, clearing Jorginho’s header off the road from a nook.
Simply as Havertz’s night was turning into one to neglect having missed a number of beneficial probabilities, he fired Chelsea again in entrance with a sensational, curled strike from the sting of the field, following one other neat passage of play.
Potter used substitutes to shift his facet right into a again 4 to see out the closing levels, efficiently taking the sting out of an in any other case all-action contest and placing Chelsea inside touching distance of successful Group E.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6/10 – A couple of furry moments along with his distribution early on, however settled down as his facet turned up the warmth. Sturdy, low save to disclaim Benjamin Sesko afterward, which he adopted up by spilling a cross. Textbook Kepa.
CB: Trevoh Chalobah – 7/10 – His efforts in bringing the ball out down the channel had been essential in making an attempt to overload Salzburg.
CB: Thiago Silva – 9/10 – Learn the sport tremendously. Knew precisely when to step out or drop off and cleared his strains in composed style. Bailed out his goalkeeper with a clearance off the road within the 68th minute.
CB: Marc Cucurella – 6/10 – Began shaky, however grew in confidence all through the primary half. Maybe may’ve proven extra dedication to intercept the cross for the equaliser, however was outnumbered on the again put up.
RWB: Christian Pulisic – 6/10 – Seemed sharp in possession and stretched play properly, however – as anticipated – struggled along with his defensive duties. Missed a fantastic likelihood earlier than being hooked.
CM: Jorginho – 8/10 – The Italian at his greatest. Sitting on the base of midfield, Chelsea used him because the springboard for all of their greatest strikes.
CM: Mateo Kovacic – 9/10 – Key to unlocking a properly organised Salzburg midfield in with the ability to carry the ball and burst ahead. Alert for his objective and completed brilliantly.
LWB: Raheem Sterling – 7/10 – Performed an essential position in stretching the play and linking up in superior areas, however not as efficient as he may be.
AM: Conor Gallagher – 7/10 – Brilliant on his maiden Champions League begin and gave Chelsea numerical benefits in key attacking areas, significantly when peeling off to maneuver vast.
ST: Kai Havertz – 6/10 – For a person that stands at round six foot 4, Havertz ought to be a lot better at heading a soccer. Missed too many straightforward probabilities, then scored a worldie. Endlessly complicated.
ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5/10 – Needed to rating following his facet’s slick transfer and his strike accomplice’s sq. ball. Will not be introduced with a better likelihood.
SUB: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (68′ for Kovacic) – 6/10 – Could not replicate the Croatian’s affect on the sport.
SUB: Cesar Azpilicueta (75′ for Pulisic) – N/A
SUB: Armando Broja (75′ for Aubameyang) – N/A
SUB: Mason Mount (88′ for Sterling) – N/A
SUB: Hakim Ziyech (88′ for Gallagher) – N/A
Supervisor: Graham Potter – 9/10 – His determination to play two wingers in a wing-back position left Chelsea open at occasions, however the reward outweighed the chance. His facet had been untouchable within the first half, with poor ending letting down his plan.