Chelsea Beat Salzburg To Qualify For Champions League Last 16

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter was delighted to seal progress to the Champions League last 16 with a game to spare after a 2-1 win away to Salzburg.

Kai Havertz’s stunning strike 26 minutes from time proved the difference between the sides after Junior Adamu cancelled out Mateo Kovacic’s opener for the Blues.

Victory extended Chelsea’s unbeaten run under Potter to nine games.

The former Brighton boss was appointed at Stamford Bridge after Thomas Tuchel’s final game in charge ended in a 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb to open Group E.

A 1-1 draw at home to the Austrian champions in Potter’s first game in charge then left Chelsea with a mountain to climb.

But back-to-back victories over AC Milan put their European campaign back on track and another win opens up an unassailable four-point lead over Salzburg.

Anything other than a victory for Dinamo Zagreb over AC Milan later on Tuesday will also guarantee top spot in the group for the 2021 European champions.

“That was a fantastic performance from the players,” said Potter.

“I’m delighted to go through with a game to spare considering where we started the competition.”

Chelsea’s bright start under Potter has been undermined by failing to turn their approach play into goals and that was the case once more in a dominant first 45 minutes.

Salzburg had not suffered defeat in their first four Champions League games of the season, but were grateful to goalkeeper Philipp Kohn for keeping the score down before the break.

Kovacic’s fine strike into the top corner gave Kohn no chance as he opened the scoring on 23 minutes.

But the German stopper won a personal duel with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with three stunning saves to deny the former Arsenal captain.

 

 

 




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