SALZBURG, Austria — Chelsea held on for a 2-1 win over FC Salzburg on Tuesday night in Austria, to substantiate their place within the Champions League knockout rounds as winners of Group E.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, extra (U.S.)
Mateo Kovacic opened the scoring for the guests halfway via the primary half, just for Junior Adamu to degree the rating simply three minutes after the interval. However Kai Havertz delivered a shocking eventual winner within the sixty fourth minute, sending the Blues house with all three factors, on high of Group E and past the attain of their rivals.
Chelsea will welcome Dinamo Zagreb to Stamford Bridge per week from Wednesday, whereas Salzburg will shut out their Champions League group stage with a visit to AC Milan subsequent week, to find out who will observe the West London membership into the spherical of 16.
JUMP TO: Participant rankings | Greatest/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Publish-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures
1. Havertz stunner seals knockout-round qualification for Chelsea
Havertz secured Chelsea’s spot within the Champions League spherical of 16 with a shocking aim to clinch a 2-1 Group E win in opposition to Salzburg in Austria on Tuesday. The Germany ahead, who scored the successful targets within the 2021 Champions League closing and 2022 FIFA Membership World Cup closing, delivered one other essential strike for Chelsea after Salzburg had threatened to overturn a first-half deficit to spice up their very own qualification hopes.
With Adamu cancelling out Kovacic’s Twenty third-minute opener by equalising 4 minutes into the second half, Salzburg grew in confidence and seemed on target to increase their unbeaten house file in all competitions to 41 video games. However Havertz silenced the house crowd and ensured victory for Chelsea with a left-foot shot from 20 yards on 64 minutes that beat goalkeeper Philipp Kohn after hitting the underside of the crossbar.
Had Chelsea misplaced in opposition to the Austrian champions, they’d have needed to get a consequence at house to Dinamo Zagreb on matchday six to make sure of qualification. However Havertz ended the prospect of a nervous closing sport together with his aim and in addition noticed supervisor Graham Potter take his unbeaten run as Chelsea supervisor to 9 video games since changing Thomas Tuchel in September.
– Report: Salzburg 1-2 Chelsea | Champions League desk | Upcoming fixtures
2. Sterling continues to battle to make an affect
Raheem Sterling was Chelsea’s assertion signing earlier this summer season, arriving in a £47.5 million switch from Manchester Metropolis, however the England ahead noticed one other huge sport cross him by in Salzburg. The 27-year-old has now scored simply as soon as in his previous 10 video games for the membership, and he did not appear like ending that barren streak as Graham Potter’s staff wasted numerous possibilities to win the sport comfortably.
On this event, Sterling was compelled to play as left wing-back with Potter opting to make use of a three-man defence in Austria. Taking part in out large, with better defensive obligations, shouldn’t be conducive to getting one of the best from a participant who loved his finest kind at Metropolis in a extra superior place or as a central ahead beneath Pep Guardiola.
Potter had clearly informed Sterling to remain as large as potential to stretch the pitch, with Christian Pulisic given the identical directions on the suitable flank, however the tactical plan nullified Sterling’s finest qualities. The problem for Potter is to discover a solution to get extra from certainly one of his high gamers, as a result of if Chelsea are to problem for honours this season, Sterling must contribute far more.
3. Salzburg’s youth coverage shines once more
Salzburg are considered having the most effective recruitment groups in Europe due to the Austrian champions’ skill to unearth younger abilities, develop them after which transfer these gamers on to greater golf equipment in additional aggressive leagues.
Their roster of former gamers is massively spectacular, led in fact by Erling Haaland, who scored on his Champions League debut as an adolescent after signing from Molde. Apart from Haaland, although, Salzburg have additionally set the likes of Sadio Mane, Dayot Upamecano, Takumi Minamino and Karim Adeyemi on their solution to glory elsewhere.
Benjamin Sesko, the 19-year-old Slovenia ahead, is considered the following huge factor and he has already been lined up for a transfer to Crimson Bull accomplice membership RB Leipzig, however he was named in its place by coach Matthias Jaissle due to the type of 21-year-old striker Adamu. The Austria worldwide has scored eight targets in his previous 9 home video games, so he acquired the nod in opposition to Chelsea and repaid his coach with the equaliser early within the second half. Adamu and Sesko are each destined for strikes to greater golf equipment, with defender Strahinja Pavlovic and midfielder Luka Sucic additionally making an enormous impression.
To underline Salzburg’s concentrate on youth, their beginning lineup had the youngest common age — 22 years, 10 days — within the Champions League since 2009. Solely Arsenal (2009) and Ajax (2003 and 2004) have ever fielded youthful groups within the competitors.
Salzburg: Philipp Kohn 9; Amar Dedic 6, Bernardo 7, Strahinja Pavlovic 7, Maximilian Wober 7; Lucas Gourna Douath 6; Nicolas Seiwald 6, Luka Sucic 8, Maurits Kjaergaard 7; Noah Okafor 6, Chukwubuike Adamu 8
Subs: Benjamin Sesko 7, Roko Simic 6, Andreas Ulmer 6
Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga 6; Trevoh Chalobah 6, Thiago Silva 7, Marc Cucurella 5; Christian Pulisic 5, Mateo Kovacic 7, Jorginho 6, Raheem Sterling 6; Conor Gallagher 6; Kai Havertz 7, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 5
Subs: Ruben Loftus-Cheek 6, Cesar Azpilicueta 6, Armando Broja 6, Hakim Ziyech 6, Mason Mount 6
Greatest and worst performers
BEST: Philipp Kohn, Salzburg. The Salzburg goalkeeper overcame a bang to the top from Havertz within the second minute and one other blow later within the first half to supply a world-class efficiency for the house facet. Chelsea may have scored 5 or 6 however for Kohn.
WORST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Chelsea. The Chelsea ahead missed too many clear possibilities for a striker of his high quality. Aubameyang was a last-minute panic signing in August and he is not the reply to the staff’s goal-scoring issues.
Highlights and notable moments
Potter has put himself in rarified air in his first style of the Champions League as Chelsea supervisor.
Graham Potter is the primary Chelsea supervisor to go unbeaten of their first 4 Champions League matches since Roberto Di Matteo in 2012 👀
They received the Champions League that yr 🏆 pic.twitter.com/ygKcm9kfgW
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 25, 2022
After the match: What the managers, gamers mentioned
Gallagher on Kovacic’s aim: “It was a great finish, I couldn’t believe it to be honest. To get that first goal was important and helped us out and gave us confidence in the game.”
Kovacic: “It’s nice to score where I was born. My parents were here and my friends.”
Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Data)
– Chelsea haven’t misplaced a Champions League sport when scoring the primary aim since April 2014, after they misplaced 3-1 to Atletico Madrid within the semifinals, the longest such streak within the competitors courting again to at the very least 2010-11.
– Chelsea at the moment are unbeaten in 21 straight video games when Chalobah begins.
Salzburg: The Crimson Bull-backed membership stay at house for his or her return to Austrian Bundesliga play in opposition to TSV Hartberg on Saturday.
Chelsea: The Blues will return to England for a Premier League contest on Saturday on the former house of not solely Potter but additionally Cucurella: Brighton & Hove Albion.