LONDON London Chelsea continued to keep their Champions League hopes alive with an impressive 3-0 victory over AC Milan at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Wesley Fofana opened the scoring for Chelsea with his goal in the first half at the end of 24 minutes however, he was forced to leave the field injured within 14 minutes. AC Milan had spells of possession, but it was Chelsea who took over the game in the second period with goals scored by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as well as Reece James.
This enabled Graham Potter to empty the bench and celebrate his very first Champions League victory in charge of Chelsea However, more important this was their first victory at the event this year that keeps them in contention for a place in the knockout stage.
1. Chelsea was present in the first test of the Potter time
Potter was not given much of an settling-in time at Chelsea. The 1-0 defeat against Dinamo Zagreb in their opening Champions League match of the season, in what turned out the Thomas Tuchel’s last game as manager of Chelsea which left Chelsea on the back foot. The first game that Potter played in charge, they could only manage an 1-1 draw against FC Salzburg at Stamford Bridge so tonight’s match was a must-win game for Potter to win. If they lose, they’d be out of the Champions League. Champions League hopes would be suspended and dependent on other results.
But Potter’s Chelsea delivered. It was the greatest performance of all three under his leadership when they pulled and pushed AC Milan all over the field. Although AC Milan’s Serie A champions had some good opportunities, Chelsea controlled much of the match . You are able to see the team becoming more comfortable as a team under the direction of Harry Potter. The philosophy is based on overloads and attacking in the right time at an explosive speed. This team is perfectly suited to players like James, Sterling and Aubameyang each one of them amazing.
Central midfielders Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Mateo Kovacic played well in the pair, switching who is forward and who stays back. There was also Thiago Silva, a veteran at the back, who performed admirably. It was his three headers from sets in the opening half that triggered the final scramble, which allowed Fofana to score his first goal for Chelsea and his first opener.
Importantly, Kepa Arrizabalaga kept a clear score during the Chelsea goal. In the absence of Edouard Mendy fit again having been absent for Potter’s first two games It was going to be interesting to see who was the first to start the first half, and that was Kepa who was often the second choice under Tuchel. When Kepa was needed and needed to perform, he was there when required.
2. Sterling, Aubameyang shine on the frontline despite Mount frustration
Chelsea’s front three honed their skills in the match against AC Milan. Although Mason Mount is yet to score this season, it’s hard to think that Potter will change things much after seeing his front three team up like the way they played on Wednesday night.
Aubameyang was at his most impressive performance in the Chelsea shirt in his third appearance, as his movements continuously pulled AC Milan’s defense out of its position. He scored his second goal in a row by completing his goal on the side of James Aubameyang’s goal in the second quarter of the game.
And, Sterling and James are performing admirably on Chelsea’s left side, with the pair often interspersed with one another. His assist was the catalyst that saw James score from close range to secure Chelsea’s third. The long-term outlook on the opposite side of the pitch is somewhat unclear, with Marc Cucurella on the bench and Chelsea being awash with attacking talent, however Mount as well as Ben Chilwell dovetailed well against Milan.
Potter’s initial objectives will be to boost Mount’s confidence up. Mount will be determined to be able to start the season off right during the current season at Chelsea however it’s not for the sake of doing so. Mount was able to save a shot in the first half , and another attempt that was a great shot — was ruled out because of offside.
3. Leao is proof that he’s an AC Milan key man amid transfer rumors
Chelsea asked questions regarding AC Milan’s striker Rafael Leao in the summer and it’s easy to see why he’s among Europe’s top talents. He showed moments of amazing ability, but he’s beyond a simple collection of tricks. His movements make him difficult to comprehend and at two times in the first half he swung his way through the southwest of London and into his Chelsea penalty zone. The second shot, which was a swerve past Reece James — no impressive feat, but it caused Charles de Ketelaere getting his shot snuffed by Kepa and also giving Rade Krunic with a fantastic chance but he failed to convert his shot from eight yards and the goal was smashed at the half-way point of time. There was also a stunning shot in the second period that left Thiago Silva trailing behind but his attempt to pass it towards Olivier Giroud was intercepted.
Of course , the idea of Leao dance through a defensive isn’t new to fans of Serie A and AC Milan. Leao has been an absolute star for the Pioli team. He was a key player in their pursuit of the Scudetto in the last season and has scored 4 goals as well as four assists across seven Serie A matches this season. But his talent was clear for everyone to see, and If it is decided that the Premier League is to be the future destination for the 23-year-old Portugal forward it was an excellent opportunity to test his skills.
Although Leao was the subject of interest, people the attention paid to Fikayo Tomori’s return to the club. He was a young player at Chelsea but moved to AC Milan in 2021 and has made himself an essential member of their squad. He was a good player on the return trip back to Stamford Bridge and was definitely one of AC Milan’s most impressive players in the game however he will be disappointed at having to miss cutting out James the cross that Aubameyang used to score his goal.
Ratings of the player
Chelsea: Kepa 7, Koulibaly 7, Thiago Silva 8, Fofana 7, James 8, Chilwell 7, Loftus-Cheek 8, Kovacic 7, Mount 7, Sterling 7, Aubameyang 8
Substitutes: Chalobah 7 Gallagher 7. Jorginho 6. Broja 6 Havertz 7
AC Milan: Tatarusanu 6, Dest 5, Kalulu 6, Tomori 6, Ballo-Toure 6, Tonali 5, Bennacer 6, De Ketelaere 5, Rafael Leao 6, Krunic 5, Giroud 5
Substitutes: Rebic 5, Gabbia 6, Origi 5, Pogeba 5, Brahim Diaz 5
The best and worst performers
The best: Thiago Silva, Chelsea.
Aubameyang, Sterling, James and Loftus-Cheek all did excellently, but the Brazil defenseman was outstanding in the defensive. The 38-year-old was the very first Chelsea player to reach the heights of Leao as it was Leao’s torrent of headers during the first half that allowed Fofana an opportunity to score their first goal. He was a master.
WORST: Rade Krunic, AC Milan.
There are a few potential candidates who are from AC Milan here, but Krunic was a bit shaky. Ben Chilwell kept him quiet and Krunic was unable to convert AC Milan’s greatest chance of the game at the half-time whistle when he was unable to score from the distance of just a few meters.
Highlights and noteworthy moments
A precise cross from Reece James to give Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first Champions League goal in nearly five years.
The crucial stop was made by Kepa shortly before halftime could have changed the pace in the match had it not been for the ball. not gone into.
After the game The managers, players, and managers said
Chelsea manager Graham Potter: “Delighted with the attitude and performance we showed against the best opponents. I believed we should be quick to react as we did. We suffered also, which is something good to be able to endure. I’m very happy with the team and it’s an excellent start for us.
“Chelsea Vs. AC Milan is a great football match, and being part of it is something that I’m thankful for. However, to win the game is a great achievement. We must now recover and get back on track for next weekend.”
Potter on the injury to Wesley Fofana: “We don’t know yet. This is the only thing that disappointed me in the evening. He’ll need a scan on Monday and we’ll keep our fingers crossed. I’d rather not make any assumptions about the issue, but we’re worried and will have the test next week.”
AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli: “We could’ve played better It’s evident that our opponents were playing at a advanced level, however our accuracy wasn’t as great as it could’ve been. After a short time we began doing things that we weren’t supposed to do and our opponents were able to exploit the space in front of us very quickly.
“It was not a great evening, it’s just an incident. We were not dangerous and we didn’t perform enough the face of the goal of the opposition. We didn’t have a great day today. We knew it would be a challenging game but we were unable to mentally perform as a group.”
The Chelsea’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, to BT Sport: “It was not an easy match. They did well during the first second half. Then , we kept the energy very high. We were confident.”
Important Stats (provided through ESPN Stats & Information)
– Despite his stint with Arsenal or Barcelona, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had his first Champions League goal since he scored in the month of December. 6 brace against. Real Madrid back when his team was Borussia Dortmund.
Prior to Wednesday night, AC Milan had never lost an Champions League group stage game by more than 3 goals. They’ve lost by that margin five times in knockout round games.
Chelsea The Blues are back in Premier League action with Wolverhampton Wanderers visiting on Saturday. Then, off for the San Siro against AC Milan on Tuesday.
AC Milan: A couple important home games in the near future, with Serie A rivals Juventus coming through on Saturday , before Chelsea’s game on Tuesday.