Three things Graham Potter got right as Chelsea thrash AC Milan in Champions League
Graham Potter claimed his first Champions League win on Wednesday night as Chelsea produced a fine European performance to beat Italian champions AC Milan 3-0 at Stamford Bridge
Graham Potter's team selection paid off to perfection as Chelsea cruised past AC Milan with a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
The Blues leapfrogged their Italian opponents in their Champions League group with a dominant home victory as they proved a constant threat on the counter attack. Meanwhile, their five-man defence limited the threat posed by the exciting Rafael Leao and the rest of the Milan frontline, even after Wesley Fofana was forced off through injury before half-time.
Here are the three things that Potter got right as he extended his unbeaten start to life as Chelsea manager.
Switching to three centre-backs
After trialling both 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-1-2 formations in his opening two matches as Chelsea boss, Potter switched to a three-man defence on Wednesday night. The change allowed him to start Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly either side of Thiago Silva.
All three proved a threat from set-pieces, with Fofana opening the scoring after a flurry of first half corners. Meanwhile, Silva was a calming and dominant presence in the centre of defence, regularly mopping up loose balls and imposing himself on the Milan attack.
Trevoh Chalobah picked up where Fofana had left off in the back three after the Frenchman was forced off injured. The formation change also gave Ben Chilwell and Reece James more attacking freedom, which the latter utilised by smashing in Chelsea’s third after the hour mark.
Starting Ruben Loftus-Cheek
With Jorginho and Kai Havertz dropped to the bench, Ruben Loftus-Cheek came into the midfield alongside Mateo Kovacic.
The English midfielder’s dynamic performance blended the attacking and defensive traits of Havertz and Jorginho as he impressed in a box-to-box role.
Loftus-Cheek regularly won the ball back in midfield before pushing Chelsea forward with his passing and dribbling, allowing Kovacic to stay deeper and snuff out any counter attacks.
Sterling and Aubameyang in attack
Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continue to gel as a front two, with another promising display at the top of the pitch.
The duo's movement and link-up play compliments each other brilliantly, with their pace causing problems for the Milan defence throughout.
Aubameyang almost had an assist with a fine flick over the top for Mason Mount in the first half, only for the England international to be flagged for offside.
However, he got over the disappointment 11 minutes after the interval as he stroked James’ low cross past Ciprian Tatarusanu to double the home side’s lead.
Published/Updated On 05/10/[email protected]:27