On game day two of the Champions League group stage, Chelsea and RB Salzburg drew 0-0 to officially start the Graham Potter era. Potter has never before watched a Champions League football match before this one. Given that, a draw against the league leaders of Austria was not a poor performance.
Potter changed strategies and did not hesitate to make adjustments to Tuchel’s three-at-the-back setup. It was a novel approach like the one that led Brighton and Hove Albion to play some outstanding football. Chelsea had a chance to win the game on another night. To move forward over time, Potter must address the three problems listed below.
1) Chelsea’s Issues With Finishing
Thanks to adjustments made by Potter, the players against RB Salzburg were put in excellent situations. Raheem Sterling scored an excellent goal, but they had plenty of room to score more. Mason Mount, Reece James, Armando Broja, and Hakim Ziyech all had chances to score but were unsuccessful.
The problem can be more psychological than tactical. While the team is creating opportunities, their finishing has been lacking.
2) Concentration lapses
To control a football game for the full 90 minutes is very unlikely. Even the best teams occasionally give up a chance. Defenders frequently have brief moments of attention lapse. Therefore, such concentration lapses could be expensive for a side with finishing issues like Chelsea. Chelsea is currently giving up goals due to careless errors.
This season, there have been numerous instances of players committing isolated mistakes that resulted in goals. The equalizer against RB Salzburg came about as a result of uncertainty. The Chelsea players easily could have cleared the ball or committed a tactical foul, but instead, they allowed the ball to remain in play.