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Chelsea 1-1 RB Salzburg: Blues stay BOTTOM of Champions League group after Okafor’s late equaliser


A brand new period, however acquainted issues stay. Chelsea dominated, failed to drag clear, conceded, drew. Clearly, it may have been worse. But Graham Potter, attending his first Champions League recreation whether or not as a participant or spectator, would have hoped for extra.

There have been quarter-hour remaining when Salzburg, who had been second finest a lot of the sport, brought on Stamford Bridge to fall silent for the second time within the evening. A formidable trade of passes, from the again and thru the midfield, ended with substitute Junior Adamu sprinting down the suitable flank. His low cross was met by Swiss worldwide Noah Okafar, who misplaced Thiago Silva, and turned the ball neatly previous goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. First time, too, Potter could have seen. How Chelsea may have accomplished with an identical sense of dedication when the aim loomed.

It wasn’t like they weren’t warned, both. And never solely by the numerous matches which have unfolded like this relationship again a number of years. Even at evening, the indicators have been there. Simply two minutes earlier, Okafor had pressured a tremendous save from Arrizabalaga with a flicked header, at a time within the recreation when many had determined one could be sufficient for Chelsea. One is not sufficient, as of late. Earlier this week, Potter admitted he had by no means attended a match on this competitors, not to mention been concerned in a single, and now he is aware of how onerous it’s, even in opposition to these groups the Tremendous League snobs would class as fodder.

Graham Potter would have hoped for more after his first game in charge of Chelsea ended in a 1-1 draw against RB Salzburg

Graham Potter would have hoped for extra after his first recreation accountable for Chelsea resulted in a 1-1 draw in opposition to RB Salzburg

The Blues remain bottom of Group E following defeat in Zagreb last week, and they face 1st place AC Milan next

The Blues stay backside of Group E following defeat in Zagreb final week, and so they face 1st place AC Milan subsequent

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring early in the second half for the hosts after they lacked a cutting edge in the first half

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring early within the second half for the hosts after they lacked a leading edge within the first half

But Noah Okafor managed to take advantage of some poor Chelsea defending to equalize with 15 minutes remaining

However Noah Okafor managed to make the most of some poor Chelsea defending to equalize with quarter-hour remaining

MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS

CHELSEA (4-2-3-1): Arrizabalaga 7; James 7, Azpilicueta 6.5 (Ziyech 82min), Silva 6.5, Cucurella 7; Kovacic 6.5 (Gallagher 81), Jorginho 7; Mount 7, Havertz 6.5 (Loftus-Cheek 66, 6.5), Sterling 7.5 (Pulisic 84); Aubameyang 6 (Broja 66, 6.5).

Scorer: Sterling 48.

Booked: James.

Supervisor: Graham Potter 7.5.

SALZBURG (4-3-1-2): Kohn 7.5; Dedic 7.5, Bernardo 8, Pavlovic 8, Ulmer 6; Capaldo 6, Seiwald 6, Kjaergaard 6 (Gourna-Douath 46, 6); Sucic 6 (Kameri 70, 5.5); Sesko 6.5 (Adamu 70, 6), Okafor 5.5 (Koita 85).

Scorer: Okafor 75.

Booked: Adamu, Pavlovic, Ulmer, Capaldo.

Supervisor: Matthias Jaissle 6.

Referee: Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia) 7.5.

Attendance: 38,818.

Potter is, extremely, solely the eighth English supervisor to guide a group right into a Champions League tie and simply two of that quantity gained their first recreation. True, victory hardly offered a long-lasting omen of fine fortune for Craig Shakespeare at Leicester, or Michael Carrick at Manchester United, however Potter nonetheless would not have minded being in that firm. His new employer appears somewhat, effectively, antsy.

So what did we be taught? Properly, he is all about encouragement, Potter. When Arrizabalaga got here haring off his line to move a protracted Salzburg by ball to security, when Chelsea acquired down the flanks, even when the ultimate go got here to nothing, he raised his arms over his head and clapped heartily, noticeably. Clapped so he made certain the gamers knew that was what he wished – daring play, daring decision-making. And Chelsea had the snap of gamers attempting to impress. Flying into tackles, leaping like stags, highly effective excessive power. It is all a part of the brand new supervisor’s bounce – though opinion differs on whether or not Chelsea wanted one.

The boss definitely appeared the half, too. Immaculate in black go well with and black tie. The minute of silence for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was not excellent as effectively. Not a murmur, beside the voice of an Austrian radio commentator, who mistakenly believed the continuing reflection required a proof. He was swiftly hushed – by stewards, and members of the Chelsea bench.

And what did Potter’s Chelsea appear like? Some will say it performs a again three. Properly it would not. It is not as clearly outlined as that tag suggests. If Raheem Sterling was left wing-back he was the best wing-back within the historical past of the sport. His common place on the sphere was inside Salzburg’s half. He did not monitor into the nook, by no means appeared on the flank deeper than 30 yards from his aim. You can’t be a wing-back – which is half a defensive position – working from there. Sterling was deployed to help the forwards not help the protection, barely coming into his personal half.

Reece James, on the opposite flank, took extra defensive duties with Mason Mount saved shut. When Chelsea constructed from the again, Cesar Azpilicueta pushed broad from his central beginning place to obtain the ball. At finest it was a 4, three hybrid. What was most noticeable was who did not play.

No place within the beginning line-up for Wesley Fofana or Kalidou Koulibaly. In order that’s roughly £140m of newly-acquired central protection on the fringes. Nonetheless, honest play to Potter for that. He is at his strongest now, as the brand new man going ahead. Not a lot level selecting the proprietor’s group and questioning what he himself may need achieved, though he may have accomplished with it conserving a clear sheet or Silva being higher for the aim. Till that time, his protection had appeared strong sufficient.

Stamford Bridge observed an impeccable minute of silence following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday last week

Stamford Bridge noticed an impeccable minute of silence following the loss of life of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday final week

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a chance within five minutes but his attempted lob over Philipp Kohn was off target

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an opportunity inside 5 minutes however his tried lob over Philipp Kohn was astray

Salzburg possibilities have been few and Arrizabalaga had one actual save to make within the first-half when a shot by Benjamin Sesko curled in direction of the far submit and he did effectively to get down. Sesko, a large Slovenian, has been in comparison with Erling Haaland, however the jury is out. No coach would have been leaving Haaland out of the beginning line-up for a match like this in his Borussia Dortmund days and Sesko solely acquired the decision when striker Fernando was injured within the warm-up.

Salzburg’s solely different likelihood of that half got here when Arrizabalaga performed a silly ball, onerous and quick at Jorginho on the sting of the world, and he didn’t get it below management. Thankfully for Chelsea, their opponents have been over-eager in hustling and a foul was dedicated. That would have been calamitous.

On the different finish, standard, standard. A lot of the ball, a number of beautiful soccer, however issues ending. Sterling, particularly, appeared shot shy from glorious positions. He was typically in and round Salzburg’s six-yard field – so quite excessive for a wing-back – and one wonders what may need occurred had the ball fallen to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as an alternative. On a lot of events, it was crying out for a primary time shot. Sterling took a contact, and was then blocked off.

Ben Chilwell may be involved for his Chelsea future with Potter now reunited with Marc Cucarella, who was most popular at left again. It was his nook that served up Chelsea’s first likelihood after 13 minutes, met by Kai Havertz whose header was lower off on its solution to aim.

He then failed to connect with a first-time volley following a long ball from Mason Mount as Chelsea pushed for an opener

He then failed to attach with a first-time volley following a protracted ball from Mason Mount as Chelsea pushed for an opener

But Sterling finally broke the deadlock and scored the first goal of the Potter era with a delightful curling effort into the corner

However Sterling lastly broke the impasse and scored the primary aim of the Potter period with a pleasant curling effort into the nook

Cucarella was the supplier once more within the thirty ninth minute, this time with a cutback go after Sterling had a shot deflected. Cucarella discovered Mount however his shot, hit with beautiful cross-spin, curled simply broad of the far submit. In between, Reece James hit a cross deep which eluded everybody however fell to Sterling broad on the left. He had good sight of the aim however delayed pulling the set off and a defender acquired in the way in which. Fortunately, for Potter and Chelsea, he did not make that mistake the following time.

Simply three minutes after the restart, Chelsea acquired the break their strain deserved. James put Mount away on the suitable and Salzburg’s protection didn’t cope with his low cross. So did Aubameyang, whose footwork fortuitously – or brilliantly, take your choose on intent – let Sterling obtain the ball in vital house on the left. This time he made no mistake, firing previous Salzburg goalkeeper Philip Kohn.

The Potter period was underway. However its narrative had too many echoes of the previous, as James, Hakim Ziyech and Armando Broja all squandered possibilities to win the sport late. It is honest to say that if Chelsea’s present group of gamers shaped the managerial firing squad, Claudio Ranieri would nonetheless be in cost at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues could not hold on as Okafor finished a Junior Adamu cross following a slight deflection off Cesar Azpilicueta

The Blues couldn’t maintain on as Okafor completed a Junior Adamu cross following a slight deflection off Cesar Azpilicueta

The Blues had chances late on through substitutes Armando Broja and Hakim Ziyech, but neither could beat the goalkeeper

The Blues had possibilities late on by substitutes Armando Broja and Hakim Ziyech, however neither may beat the goalkeeper

Thiago Silva failed to clear the ball out for a throw in in the lead up to the Salzburg equalizer and looked rejected at full time

Thiago Silva didn’t clear the ball out for a throw in within the lead as much as the Salzburg equalizer and appeared rejected at full time

Re-live Sportsmail‘s protection of Chelsea’s draw with RB Salzburg from KISHAN VAGHELA beneath.

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