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Chelsea 1-1 RB Salzburg, Champions League: Post-match reaction, ratings

Old ways won’t open new doors


Chelsea started brightly and kept up that impetus for much of the first-half, but in a rather familiar development, failed to make any of our chances, half-chances, and promising attacks truly count.

Multiple times shots were passed up, final balls lacked accuracy, and players hesitated to make decisions. Confidence levels were still not quite there. Raheem Sterling perhaps came closest to scoring, though Aubameyang hammered a volley well over and missed a couple others balls into the box by just inches. Kovačić also saw a header hit a defender’s hand, but it was an entirely inadvertent handball.

At the back, Chelsea were almost entirely untroubled save for a couple risky passes, with Thiago Silva practically shutting the opposition down single-handedly.

The second half began with a moment of quality as Sterling picked out the bottom corner with a precise finish after Mount’s cross was missed by a defender.

Chelsea failed to build on that lead however, with further opportunities going to waste. And as it so often happens, a couple mistakes at the back allowed Salzburg to find an equalizer against the run of play. It’s tough to have to play perfectly every single second.

Chelsea still had 15 minutes to respond, but despite a decent bit of pressure and a few decent openings, there would be no second goal. Ziyech’s point blank sitter from a Broja cross the most glaring miss of the bunch.



  • Formation nominally a 4-3-3, but really much more of a 3-5-2, with one full time defender, one full time holding mid, and one full-time center forward — the rest very fluid and shifty. In theory at least. Maybe it’ll get better once we’re more used to it.
  • Broja & RLC on to replace Auba & Havertz like-for-like halfway through the second half. James sliding into Azpi’s role when Ziyech was put on as a winger.
  • Next up: free weekend, international break; next actual game is Oct 1, away to Crystal Palace
  • Next up in the Champions League: back-to-back against AC Milan. Must wins after they beat Dinamo Zagreb, 3-1, earlier today.


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