Both teams went into this important match with some injury concerns. While Salzburg were without Omar Solette (groin problems) and captain Andreas Olmer (sick on the bench) in defence, Chelsea boss Graham Potter had to dispense with Reese James, Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly and N’Golo Kante, among others.
The Blues started attacking right from the start, Potter forming his side very offensively against a very young Salzburg side (average age 22). The Mozartstadters were forced to survive a shock moment less than two minutes after goalkeeper Philippe Cohen collided with Kai Havertz after Bernardo’s header was too short. The goalkeeper was able to carry on after a short break from treatment.
However, the outside person was unaffected and managed to gain a visual advantage in the early stages. The spectators saw a promising start for their side, who are unbeaten at home in the Champions League since December 2020. Luka Susic also got his first shot of the match (15).
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However, Mozartstadt had to accept 0:1 out of nowhere and very badly: RB could not get the ball out of the danger zone before Mateo Kovacic (23.) scored. After a short time, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang almost scored a goal, but Cohen saved it from the goal line (26′).
In the period that followed, Salzburg had problems in attack, often playing very awkwardly and impatiently. Going behind them, Chelsea were able to use all their experience and quality and completely dominated the match. Aubameyang missed 2-0, and Gabon failed after a very strong attack from Kun (32), and a little later Havertz missed the second goal with his header (36).
At this point, Salzburg has acted very passively in defense, so that the Blues can easily get dangerous shots. The Mozartstadters were able to thank goalkeeper Köhn, who repeatedly tackled hard.
In the second round there was shooting from the start, both teams made an open exchange of blows without interruption. Mozart’s townspeople were soon rewarded for their bravery, and Junior Adamo made the score 1-1 (48). The 21-year-old was also the center of focus shortly after he pushed Jorginho’s header off the line (53′). Chelsea tried to get an answer, but RB found access faster now.
As the game progressed, the Blues tightened the reins once again. Chelsea showed a lot of enthusiasm around the penalty area and put their opponents in the right place. Then it was Havertz’s watch: the former Leverkusner hit the upper left corner beautifully to advance again – 1: 2 (64).
Salzburg shook themselves briefly and played forward again after a short while: Chelsea were lucky that Benjamin Sisko, who had just come on as a substitute, failed at Kepa (67), before Thiago Silva got a header from Strahinya Pavlovic in front of the goalkeeper. who was wandering in the stowed box line (69).
Salzburg tried to level the score again, but Chelsea acted with great confidence in the last stage and kept the ball and opponents away from their penalty area. The blues also survived the powerful Salzburg game unscathed.
With this win, the Londoners were not satisfied with inflicting Salzburg’s first home defeat in the first division since December 9, 2020 (0-2 against Atlético Madrid). The win also equates to the Blues reaching the Round of 16.
Next Wednesday in Milan, Salzburg is looking for a second ticket to the knockout stage. Chelsea can make the group a perfect win in the second leg against Zagreb.
Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea): “We knew they were going to play well in the second half. But we responded very well, and scored the second goal. It’s a very important goal. I didn’t score much, but it was a great goal. It’s good to score where I score I was born. My parents are here, my friends, so from Very good to score on this occasion.”
Graham Potter (Chelsea coach): “I’m happy. Great performance by the players. It was very brave to come here because of the atmosphere and the intensity with which they are playing. It was a bit disappointing that it was 1-0 at the end of the first half. Some of them could happen at this level but we responded well, Great goal from Kai and we deserved to go through it, it was hard work but that’s how it is at this level, we played well, created chances, scored two good goals and reacted well when we had a setback. Overall I’m happy for the players, they played great “.
Conor Gallagher (Chelsea): “Yes, I’m very happy. It was a very tough match today, we knew that, but everyone did their job. Those three points are important and we’re just happy we qualified. It’s a really great moment. I wanted to do well. I hope I can continue like this. “.
That was notable: He loves Chelsea under Potter in attack
Aubameyang, Havertz, Sterling, Pulisic and Gallagher – Graham Potter sent five attacking players onto the field right from the start against Salzburg. At 3-5-2, the Blues sparkled from the start with a fun attacking match, quick changes to the sides and plenty of shots. The Londoners showed a very strong game around the box and let the ball and the opponents run over and over again. The signature of the new coach, who has not lost in nine matches since taking over, is becoming increasingly apparent. Attacks are carried out repeatedly on the wings, the opponent prepares himself before the front pass comes into the depth. Salzburg can thank goalkeeper Philip Cohn, who had to dodge several times.
Tweet about the game
This picture speaks volumes! The second half was pure entertainment, with few chances for either side. But then Kai Havertz unpacked his bag of tricks and scored the winning 2-1 with a global goal. His teammate Mason Mount and coach Graham Potter were clearly delighted with this powerful goal from the Germany international.
Game number: 22
At 22 years and 10 days old, he started the youngest eleven in Champions League history in Salzburg. In the club’s first history, only three teams had one smaller player initially: Arsenal in December 2009 (21J 215D) and Ajax in December 2003 (21J 355D) and September 2004 (22J 2D).
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