Chelsea defeated Salzburg to advance to the Champions League round of 16

In the Champions League, Chelsea advanced to the round of 16 thanks to Kai Havertz’s magnificent goal in a 2-1 victory away at Salzburg.

With the win, the Blues’ unbeaten streak under new manager Graham Potter was extended to nine games and they surpassed the Austrian champions at the top of Group E by four points.

Any outcome other than Dinamo Zagreb’s victory vs AC Milan later on Tuesday will also ensure the 2021 European Champions’ place at the top of the group.

Chelsea’s bright start under Potter has been undermined by failing to turn their approach play into goals and that was the case once more in a dominant first 45 minutes.

Salzburg had not suffered defeat in their first four Champions League games of the season, but were grateful to goalkeeper Philipp Kohn for keeping the score down before the break.

Mateo Kovacic’s fine strike into the top corner gave Kohn no chance as he opened the scoring on 23 minutes.

However, the German goalkeeper defeated Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a face-off by making three incredible saves to halt the former captain of Arsenal.

In addition, Havertz’s close-range header was parried by Kohn as Chelsea began to attack in a way that was uncommon during Potter’s first two months in charge.

When Salzburg equalized four minutes into the second half by having Junior Adamu convert Maximilian Wober’s enticing cross in behind the Chelsea defense, it appeared as though the English team could live to regret not converting those opportunities.

However, the visitors immediately responded as Kohn rushed out to deny Aubameyang once more before Adamu cleared Jorginho’s header off the line from a corner.

Chelsea finally got the second goal their performance deserved when Havertz cushioned Christian Pulisic’s pass into his path before curling in off the underside of the crossbar.

But Potter’s men had to withstand a late onslaught from Salzburg to hold out for all three points.

The in-form Kepa Arrizabalaga was forced to fly low to his left to turn Benjamin Sesko’s effort behind

After leaving Athletic Bilbao in 2018, Kepa is now beginning to live up to his reputation as the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.

However, Thiago Silva’s goal line clearance saved the Spaniard when Strahinja Pavlovic beat him to a cross.

Kepa had to step up once more in the dying moments to block shots from Dijon Kameri and Amar Dedic, but Chelsea held on to guarantee their place in the last 16 draw scheduled for next month.

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