5 Things Learned: Chelsea 3-0 AC Milan | Champions League
Chelsea and Graham Potter celebrated back to back victories for the first time this season after a convincing 3-0 win against AC Milan at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.
The start of the game was fairly evenly matched with both sides feeling out their opponents in what was an important game in Group E for both sides. However, Chelsea began to take control of proceedings, particularly in aerial duels which eventually led to the opening goal.
Thiago Silva had consecutive headed efforts saved for the Blues, before Milan’s stand in keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu could only parry his third attempt back into the box, leading to a goalmouth scramble which kindly fell to Wesley Fofana, who slotted into the bottom corner for his first Chelsea goal.
Consecutive wins for the first time this season! 🤝 pic.twitter.com/kTINeauGby— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) October 5, 2022
Chelsea thought they may have doubled their lead later in the half after Mason Mount’s delightful lob over Tatarusanu was ruled out for offside after some encouraging interplay between the Blues front three.
AC Milan will feel they should have ended the first half on level terms after Kepa Arrizabalaga saved from a Rade Krunic gilt edged chance, following some wonderful play from Rafael Leao.
Chelsea punished Krunic’s profligacy after the break, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stabbing home his second goal in two games after some poor Milan defending gave Reece James too much time to cross from the right hand side.
Reece James put the game to bed for Graham Potters’ team five minutes later, marauding through the right hand side of the box before powering an effort past the helpless Tatarusanu after being played in by Raheem Sterling.
Chelsea were able to see the game out comfortably after James’ finish, allowing Graham Potter and his team to celebrate an emphatic Champions League victory at Stamford Bridge
Here are five things Absolute Chelsea learned from Wednesday’s win.
1) Group E Complexion vastly improved
After one point from two games against opposition Chelsea would have expected to beat, it is fair the Blues had a very poor start to their Champions League campaign. With a game at the San Siro on the horizon it was imperative that Chelsea gained a positive result against AC Milan, otherwise their chances of getting out of Group E would have slowly started to slip away. Luckily for Blues fans, the team put in a fantastic performance at Stamford Bridge, and now sit in second place in Group E, one point behind leaders RB Salzburg, moving up from bottom place. A marked improvement and a strong base to build on for the final three group games.
2) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to break the number 9 curse?
After a quiet opening few matches at the club, Aubameyang is finally beginning to fire for Chelsea. A well taken finish at Crystal Palace was followed up by another goal against AC Milan as Aubameyang hopes to build some form in the striker position, something that has been so elusive at Chelsea for so long, especially for players with the number nine on their back. Maybe Aubameyang with all his experience will be the man to break the duck of poor Chelsea number nine’s
3) Mixed night for Wesley Fofana
Fofana started the game in slightly nervy fashion, getting beaten early on by Rafael Leao and conceding a potential counter after losing the ball to Olivier Giroud. However, the goal seemed to give Fofana confidence, as he grew into the game, taking his chance well, calmly slotting into the bottom corner. Unfortunately a joyous evening for the Frenchman celebrating his first Chelsea and Champions League goal, will end in frustration after it was cut short by injury, tweaking his knee in a duel with Leao. For his sake, he will not be out for long after such a long layoff last season.
4) Rafael Leao is dangerous and should definitely be considered by Chelsea
With rumours circulating around Rafael Leao’s future, it is easy to see why Chelsea and so many other top European sides are after the winger, following his performance this evening. On a night where AC Milan were largely kept quiet, Leao was the bright spark at Stamford Bridge for the away side. Leao’s pace and power was apparent throughout the game, creating Milan's best chance at the end of the first half which should have been taken. Leao jinked past world class players with apparent ease, and although he will have more effective performances, his raw talent was obvious, and Chelsea must be wary of him at the San Siro next week.
5) Strong performance for Potter to build on
After a mixed start to life at Stamford Bridge, Graham Potter will be very happy to get his first convincing win as Chelsea manager. Ever since Fofana’s first half goal, the result never really looked in any doubt for the Blues, who took the game away from very capable opponents in AC Milan with relative ease. With the games coming thick and fast for Chelsea, Potter can use the confidence gained from this performance as the foundation to build his future team on.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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