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Graham Potter Fails To Beat Salzburg In First Game As Chelsea Manager Despite Bold Tactics

Chelsea 1-1 RB Salzburg

The Graham Potter era at Chelsea began with a draw against Red Bull Salzburg.

Former Brighton boss Potter had never even attended a Champions League match before Wednesday's high-stakes group game.

Chelsea were desperate to claim three points after losing 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb in week one in what proved to be Thomas Tuchel's final assignment.

Graham Potter pictured during his first game as Chelsea manager in September 2022

Graham Potter pictured during his first game as Chelsea manager

Graham Potter's First Chelsea XI

Kepa; Azpilicueta, Silva, Cucurella; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount, Sterling; Havertz, Aubameyang

Potter's tactics were ambitious and attacking.

He lined up his side in a 3-5-2 formation with wing-backs but that only tells half of the story.

England forward Raheem Sterling started as Chelsea's designated wing-back on the left, with Marc Cucurella providing extra width from the left side of a back three.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kai Havertz started up front, with the likes of Sterling, Reece James, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount tasked with supplying the ammunition.

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Supply them they did but Aubameyang and Havertz both failed to hit the target once despite attempting three shots each.

Chelsea dominated the game with 72 percent of the ball and by recording 17 shots to Salzburg's four.

Sterling Scores From Wing-Back

That dominance was rewarded three minutes into the second half.

Mount's low cross from the right was missed by Aubameyang and fell nicely for Sterling, who was in lots of space and controlled the ball before finishing clinically from the left side of the penalty area.

Potter's masterplan was working well but Chelsea were wasteful in their efforts to kill the game with a second goal.

Salzburg Exploit Chelsea's Ultra-Attacking Left Side

The wastefulness was punished 15 minutes from full-time when both Cucurella and Sterling were caught high up the pitch.

Thiago Silva came across to the left to cover but missed his slide tackle, allowing Chukwubuike Adamu to progress.

Adamu then crossed for Noah Okafor, whose low effort took a slight deflection off Cesar Azpilicueta before beating Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The next exhibition of Potter-ball will be on October 1 when Chelsea visit Crystal Palace in the Premier League.