As Chelsea put up a strong European effort to defeat Italian champions AC Milan 3-0 on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge, Graham Potter earned his first Champions League victory.
Chelsea defeated AC Milan with ease on Wednesday night, winning 3-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to Graham Potter’s brilliant lineup selection.
With a convincing victory at home and a continuous danger on the counterattack, the Blues moved ahead of their Italian rivals in their Champions League group. Wesley Fofana’s injury took him off before halftime, but their five-man defense still managed to contain the threat offered by the dynamic Rafael Leao and the rest of Milan’s front line.
As he continued to lead Chelsea without suffering a loss, Potter did these three things correctly.
Switching to three centre-backs
Potter moved to a three-man defense on Wednesday night after experimenting with both 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-1-2 formations in his first two games as Chelsea manager. With the substitution, he was able to start Kalidou Koulibaly and Fofana on either side of Thiago Silva.
All three of them showed that they could score from set pieces, with Fofana getting things started after a flurry of first-half corners. While this was going on, Silva was a steady and commanding presence in the center of defense, routinely snatching up stray balls and making an impression on the Milan offense.
Following Fofana’s forced departure due to injury, Trevoh Chalobah continued where the Frenchman had left off in the back three. Ben Chilwell and Reece James were given more offensive freedom as a result of the formation adjustment, which the latter took advantage of by scoring Chelsea’s third goal just after the hour mark.
Starting Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Ruben Loftus-Cheek partnered Mateo Kovacic in the middle of the pitch while Jorginho and Kai Havertz were on the the bench.
The energetic display by the English midfielder, who excelled in a box-to-box role, combined the attacking and defensive qualities of Havertz and Jorginho.
Kovacic was able to remain in a deeper position and thwart any counterattacks because Loftus-Cheek frequently won the ball back in midfield before driving Chelsea forward with his passing and dribbling.
Sterling and Aubameyang in attack
The pair’s mobility and linking play complement one another superbly, and their speed continually caused issues for Milan’s defense.
Mason Mount received a beautiful flick from Aubameyang that went over the top in the first half, but the England international was called for offside.
AUBA, however, when he stroked James’ low cross past Ciprian Tatarusanu double the home side’s lead.
🗣 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: "I think it’s easier when you win games so the mood is very good at the moment. We will try to keep it up, that’s it. I think first goal was really important, it give us some strength and confidence to play the game." "It was not an easy game. They played well in the first half. Then we kept the intensity really high and were confident. We knew what we had to do against Milan because they have great strikers as well, and the defenders did an incredible job too." 👏