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HomeSportChelsea face some familiar problems on Graham Potter debut as Blues drop...

Chelsea face some familiar problems on Graham Potter debut as Blues drop more Champions League points

If Thomas Tuchel is watching his old lover with their new boyfriend, think again. Lots of possession, elegant playmaking, plenty of width, but shots and goals don’t reflect it all? He did it for months at Stamford Bridge.

So Graham Potter’s first game in charge is over, not a late string of shots not enough to save the day as the sun shines on Chelsea Failed to make hay. 1-1 home draw with Red Bull Salzburg to tie the loss of Dinamo Zagreb. It will be a while before the new boss considers a Champions League match against his predecessor in his first year. Now, he must consider quitting the group.

To do this, he needs to address the issues that have plagued Tuchel from day one until the end of his Chelsea regime. For all the stars Chelsea could deploy in their attack, they did a lot of work to get good shots on target. It wasn’t until Hakim Ziyech’s direct volley in the third minute of extra-time that the home side gave Salzburg the better three-pointer. The hosts completed more than three times as many passes as Austria in the first half, with Reece James and Raheem Sterling alone making fewer touches in the final third than Salzburg’s 54. 0.55 Expected Goals (xG).

70% of the ball and 1.01 xG at the final whistle was a meager but familiar return, and there was plenty of delay that Porter was worried about. Mason Mount is still goalless this season, but it should be noted that he looks at ease as he puts defensive demands on him from deeper positions. Kai Havertz seems to have all the talent in the world, but it takes the most perfectly honed system for him to take advantage of it. Perhaps most worryingly, Chelsea appeared to be falling behind only when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made way for Armando Broja.

Nonetheless, every manager is allowed a turning point early in his tenure. After all, Tuchel started with the departure of Mount, the most emblematic player of Frank Lampard’s tenure, but the England international was soon on his coach’s best list. Porter may reflect that his system did a lot to keep Salzburg out of goal until a clever move down the left in the 75th minute. Even since then, seasoned defenders like Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta can and usually do better at getting Noah Okafor to score .

Meanwhile, while the shooting stats don’t jump off the page, you can sense from the stats that attacked the box in the first half that this could be a more advanced team. They will still use the ball to secure themselves against counter-attacks from the back, but their belts are a little looser, giving them more clearance to come on and stay there.

No more drastic adjustment than this On the left, Raheem Sterling found himself lined up. In theory, he’s a left-back, but Stamford Bridge fans won’t confuse him with Ashley Cole. No tackles, no clearances, no interceptions, 3 of 11 duels won: it would be a disastrous night for many in his position.

But the stats that mattered for Sterling were 8 touches from the penalty box, 2 shots on goal and most importantly, the 48th minute goal for Chelsea lead. He’s the only one who stood out as a player who has a good chance to be trusted tonight, so at times the 27-year-old striker’s exit from the game does feel curious, although it’s clearly bolstered the Blues’ playmaking. He would reveal after the game that Porter had him press behind young right-back Amar Dedic, who barely got over the halfway line. Marc Cucurella can move freely from his left centre-back position while Mateo Kovacic drifts to the flank, dangerous for Salzburg area.

“I think with the way we played, the chances we created, we dominated,” Sterling said. “In the end it was a bad result but we played well at times. I took the chance but we had to get the job done. It felt like we were in control but there was only one chance for them to score a goal. “

Especially in the first half, people inevitably have more than one goal. But it happens often with Chelsea. The goal is coming anytime now, just a second, wait, it will be with you soon. Even if it does eventually arrive, you’ll only be able to make do with one. That’s not enough, especially if the defense isn’t the fine-tuned machine Tuchel built in the spring of 2021. Champions League glory, it felt last season that Tuchel became increasingly obsessed with tackling defensive issues first. He’ll lay the groundwork before building a palace that suits his offensive talents. In the end, he never got the time. In his position, Porter appears to be trying something different in many’s first games, trying to light a fire in his frontcourt in the hope that it will sweep away any threat his opponent may pose. If that works, he will need his forwards to be more clinically done than his predecessors.



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