Chelsea started the game slowly – and that’s generous – but a strike from Mateo Kovačić out of practically nothing brought the team and the game to life, and after a woeful opening 22 minutes we saw some of Potter’s Chelsea’s best attacking play over the remaining 23 minutes of the first half.
It was a real shame we couldn’t finish any of these great moves, with only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang guilty of missing a hat-trick of excellent clear chances and Kai Havertz also coming in with a poor header from five yards.
Chelsea immediately had to pay for all that waste, as Salzburg exposed the wide open spaces at the back to grab an equalizer in minutes in the second half.
Our response to the equalizer was good, but we kept wasting chances in front of goal… until Havertz took matters into his own hands and scored a beautiful goal by selecting the top corner from just outside the penalty area.
Salzburg wanted to react, but Kepa and Silva conspired to keep them out with some key saves, blocks and clears… and a bit of luck too. A switch to a back-four for the final quarter also helped solidify things, even as Salzburg turned up the pressure.
Nominally a 3-5-2 with Sterling and Pulisic as the wide players, but more of a 3-3-4 in practice, with Gallagher often covering the right wing and Cucurella doing the same on the left. Back-four for the last 15, with Azpilicueta at right-back. Salzburg loses for the first time in 20 months and 41 games at home. Chelsea advance to the knockout round with one game to play. If Milan beat Zagreb tonight, or if they draw, we have already won the group. Following: Brighton away on Saturday, the Potter Derby KTBFFH