GRAHAM POTTER is less than a month into his Chelsea reign but he has already achieved what Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel could not – a win in Italy.
Chelsea had not won in Italy for 19 years before Potter’s side were promoted at the San Siro.
And the Blues had never tasted victory on the famous old ground before tonight.
But from the moment Fikayo brought down Tomori Mason Mount with a penalty in the 21st minute, the result seemed no longer in doubt.
Jorginho pocketed the penalty home and Tomori was sent for an early dip while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a second later in the first half.
Mount was the architect again, but credit must go to Potter, who was questioned for resting Aubameyang and a host of other stars in the weekend’s win over Wolves.
Potter arrived at Stamford Bridge with a reputation for playing football that’s easy on the eye, but Brighton have been criticized for their lack of killer instincts.
The same cannot be said for his Chelsea side, who have been consistently professional and never looked like giving up their lead as the home side registered just one shot on goal.
They even kept their cool when another ex-Blues Olivier Giroud tried to provoke a reaction from Reece James immediately after the penalty.
It’s now three wins from four for Potter – a notable turnaround given Tuchel’s last game was the embarrassing 1-0 defeat by Dinamo Zagreb earlier last month.
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Since then, Potter’s side have conceded just two goals and beaten Italian champions Milan twice – for a 5-0 aggregate score.
It’s no easy task, especially given Chelsea’s shocking record in Italy.
As of tonight, the Blues had gone seven games in the country without a win – most recently in 2001 under Claudio Ranieri against Lazio Roma.
As reigning Champions League champions, Chelsea were beaten 3-0 by Juventus in Torino 2012 before falling in the group stage.
Ancelotti took his double-winning side to Inter Milan in the Round of 16 in February 2010, losing 2-1 at San Siro after losing the first leg 1-0 at home.
Even under the Italian Conte, Chelsea fared no better, being beaten 3-0 by Roma in October 2017.
Potter lacks Champions League experience – he had never been to a game prior to RB Salzburg’s visit – but you wouldn’t credit his side with that.
Chelsea dominated possession and completed more than 700 passes. Had Conor Gallagher scored the third after going around goalkeeper Ciprian Tătăruşanu, he would have hit the right side of the net.
All in all a night to remember for Potter and plenty of room for optimism for the west Londoners.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6421858/potter-chelsea-champions-league-ac-milan/ Graham Potter succeeds where his predecessors failed as he guides Chelsea to their famous Champions League victory over AC Milan