Chelsea is still struggling for goals despite Graham Potter's bright start

Chelsea is yet to lose in eight games under Graham Potter, but the Blues are still suffering from the lack of firepower that led to Thomas Tuchel's demise at Stamford Bridge.

Jorginho's penalty in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Saturday is the only goal Chelsea has managed in their last two games.

Even at the height of Tuchel's time at Chelsea when it won the Champions League in 2021, goals were at a premium, with their success built on a solid defensive foundation.

The German was fired seven games into this season, just days after the end of a transfer window where he had a major influence on Chelsea's recruitment.

Tuchel pushed to be reunited with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after their time together at Borussia Dortmund and also championed the signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.

But neither have fired consistently for Potter.

Sterling is still Chelsea's top scorer this season with four goals despite his last coming in Potter's first game in charge against Salzburg.

Aubameyang has shown flashes of his predatory best, including in the high point of Potter's reign so far in consecutive wins over AC Milan to put Chelsea back on track in the Champions League.

But the former Arsenal captain has just three goals in nine appearances overall.

"We were sort of nearly there but lacked the last bit," said Potter after the draw with United left Chelsea seven points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal. "That is an area as a team where we can do better, in terms of our attacking play. It's something we can improve," Potter said.

Chelsea's maximum return from two games against Milan has at least put it in a much better position to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Victory in Salzburg on Tuesday will secure qualification and most likely guarantee the top spot in the group.

Potter had never even attended a Champions League game before his bow in the competition last month. But he has quickly answered questions over his readiness for one of the top jobs in club soccer after an unusual coaching career path that began in the Swedish lower leagues with Ostersunds.

With United having the better of the opening half-hour on Saturday, Potter responded with a substitution after just 36 minutes with Mateo Kovacic replacing Marc Cucurella to even up the numbers in midfield.

Chelsea was much improved after the change, but without the killer touch that has led to renewed rumors about a move for the man who was not at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.

Cristiano Ronaldo's future at United has been plunged into further doubt by his refusal to come on as a substitute during a 2-0 win over Tottenham last week.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was subsequently left out of the squad against Chelsea by Erik ten Hag.

A potential summer bid for Ronaldo was reportedly a source of tension between Chelsea's new chairman and co-owner Todd Boehly and Tuchel.

The American is known to be keen to exploit the commercial opportunities that the Portuguese star would bring and Chelsea is one of the few clubs that could match his wage demands.

But Tuchel's resistance to the idea that the 37-year-old still has the dynamism to lead the line for a major club has been backed up by Ten Hag's decision to leave him sidelined for most of the season.

In their search for goals, Chelsea can ill afford Boehly to be blinded by what Ronaldo was rather than the player he is now.


© Agence France-Presse

3 comments about "Chelsea is still struggling for goals despite Graham Potter's bright start".
  1. frank schoon, October 25, 2022 at 8:28 a.m.

    What do you expect from a team that has been playing Turbo soccer. Just wait till Leeds Utd. gets another coach who isn't into turbo soccer but real soccer....He probably needs to buy a whole new team. It is like major ocean liner trying to turn around

  2. R2 Dad, October 25, 2022 at 11:02 p.m.

    I thought Chelsea created plenty of chances in the attacking 3rd vs Salzburg, with some nice interplay between the front 5. They're not scoring in bunches, but it's not too late for Potter to figure out his best combination of attackers. I'd like to hear about the difference between Bundesliga attacking style (since Chelsea have 3 of their front 5 with playing time there) vs Premier League, in the attacking 3rd.  Seemed to me when Auba and CP were playing at Dortmund there were more balls across the face of goal from out wide vs negative balls from out wide like I see in the PL. Chelsea play with so many players around the 18 yard box--does that make it more difficult with less space?

  3. frank schoon replied, October 26, 2022 at 8:42 a.m.

    R2, They will look good at times and somes formidable as they did under Thomas Tuchel. But it will take time and with new ,better style players to go back into the direction Frank Lampard wanted to take them. And I"'m not so sure about Potter and the style he wants to play for he's not that much different than Tuchel....we'll see

    Your inquiries about Dortmunt and the difference in play vs PL are great questions. This is the kind of stuff I would like to see SA write about or rather also cover. They should be asking of our American boys playing in Europe the difference in practices, the coaching, the training, the thinking, etc...They are intested in covering which ,to me, are more on the human interest side of things....I find that they like writing about soccer in general , but nothing beyond that...

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