Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Why Thiago Silva shouted at Marc Cucurella as Chelsea are handed crucial Arsenal advantage

Why Thiago Silva shouted at Marc Cucurella as Chelsea are handed crucial Arsenal advantage

Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz scored in a 2-1 victory over FC Salzburg to help Chelsea qualify for the Champions League knockout round.

It was never going to be easy for Potter to succeed Thomas Tuchel as the head coach of Chelsea.

However, he has made an impressive debut at Stamford Bridge. The 47-year- old’s performances have been inconsistent, but his results have been largely positive; after nine matches, he remains unbeaten.

It is a notable accomplishment. According to official club historian Rick Glanvill, Potter is the first Englishman to lead Chelsea to without defeat  in nine consecutive matches since William Lewis in 1906/07. Last night, a small piece of blues history was created in Austria.

Chelsea was subjected to late pressure as Salzburg adopted a more physical style.

Trevoh Chalobah stood out in the second half as he won header after header, and Thiago Silva continued to guide the team expertly despite suffering a nasty fall while competing with Benjamin Sesko for a header.

The Brazilian is the most composed individual in the hottest environments. Marc Cucurella discovered late in the game that although he does not wear the captain’s armband, he leads the team with vigor.

The Spaniard took a throw-in as the game entered stoppage time, with Chelsea holding a one-goal advantage. Silva, with his many years of experience, knew better and ordered Cucurella to play forward and not invite pressure by yelling across the field. It was the correct move to help the Blues cross the finish line.

Arsenal advantage gained

The victory in Austria put Chelsea on the verge of advancing to the knockout round as group champions. 

What they required was for AC Milan to defeat Dinamo Zagreb in the evening. Indeed, this is precisely what transpired.

The Rossoneri, who were defeated both at home and on the road by Potter’s team, secured a decisive victory in Croatia.

Matteo Gabbia opened the scoring before goals from Rafael Leao, who was the subject of a summer bid by Chelsea, Olivier Giroud, and an own goal from Robert Ljubii gave the Serie A champions the victory in Croatia.

It means that Chelsea’s final group match against Dinamo on Wednesday holds no significance from the Blues’ standpoint. Therefore, Potter will be able to give minutes to players who require them and rest others prior to the Premier League match against Arsenal.

“We want to win every game we play, that is the mentality we have to have,” said the Chelsea head coach. “But clearly, we have a game at the weekend and another game the weekend after, so maybe we can rotate a little bit. But we will try our best.”

Edouard Mendy, who has been supplanted in goal by Kepa in recent weeks, may start.

 Potter may give Denis Zakaria, who has yet to appear since joining on loan from Juventus, his debut. Hakim Ziyech and Armando Broja will also be optimistic about starting.

Why Thiago Silva shouted at Marc Cucurella as Chelsea are handed crucial Arsenal advantage

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