Chelsea won back-to-back games for the first time this season with tonight’s impressive 3-0 victory over AC Milan, who may have been slightly understrength (especially at full back, where Reece James had himself a field day), but still posed plenty of potential threat — at least on paper.
On the pitch, Chelsea took care of business from start to finish, save for a few nervous moments early on and one hair-raising moment late in the first half. But some welcome set-piece excellence, a bit of clinical finishing at the right time, and solid defending from start to finish ensured that we got our Champions League group stage campaign back on track.
Head coach Graham Potter, who shifted back to a back-three setup for this one, gave credit to the players for the important win, which was pretty much a must-win.
“It was a good night for us. We needed to play well. The attitude and application of the players was fantastic [...] you saw the appetite of the players.”
“Clean sheet, three goals. The personality of players was good [and] it was a good performance from the team overall. Apart from the end of the first half, they didn’t have many chances. It says a lot about how we defended as a unit. It was an important win but still a long way to go in the competition.
“The boys have been really open, responsible, honest and fantastic to work with. They realised they weren’t at the levels. That’s great from a coach’s perspective.”
The one sour note from such a positive night was the injury to Wesley Fofana’s right knee, which unfortunately looked like it could be quite serious. It’s never good when there’s a brace and crutches involved immediately after...
“We’ll have to scan it tomorrow. See how it is. Nothing to report at the moment. The one disappointing thing of the evening.”
-Graham Potter; source: BT Sport via BBC
This was probably Chelsea’s best win at Stamford Bridge since the 4-0 result over Juventus last year. Unfortunately, that win also came with a couple injuries, including Chilwell’s ACL, which set the tone for the rest of the season much more so than the victory itself. All we can do is hope there isn’t a repeat of that situation this year.