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Pulisic & Sterling wing-back experiment pleases Chelsea boss Potter as duo helped to release Havertz in Salzburg win

13:11 GMT+4 26/10/2022
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Graham Potter felt his experiment with Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic as wing-backs paid off during Chelsea's win at Red Bull Salzburg.
  • Chelsea confirmed knockout berth with 2-1 win
  • Sterling & Pulisic used as wingbacks
  • Potter happy with their performances

WHAT HAPPENED? The Premier League outfit sealed their place in the round of 16 of the Champions League courtesy of a 2-1 victory in Austria, with Kai Havertz scoring the winner in the 64th minute after Mateo Kovacic's early opener. Potter once again deployed Sterling in the left wing-back position and also put Pulisic in the corresponding role on the right. Both players proved equal to the task as they constantly stretched Salzburg's back four and USMNT star Pulisic was the creator of Havertz's decisive goal with a mazy run followed by a pass into the German on the edge of the area.

WHAT THEY SAID: When quizzed on how Sterling and Pulisic fared in unfamiliar roles, Potter told BT Sport post-match: "Yeah I thought it was quite good. We got Raheem in some good areas and Christian as well, and the fact they [Salzburg] had to defend in a back four quite wide in big spaces allowed Conor [Gallagher] and Kai to get in.''

The Chelsea boss added: "First half I thought we probably could have had another couple of goals, but not easy because of how they defend – they’re so good. But overall really happy with the performance.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Chelsea were able to operate in wide areas more effectively and that helped them to open up Salzburg's stubborn defensive unit. However, Pulisic was caught out of position for Salzburg's equaliser as he allowed Maximilian Wober the space to put a cross into the box for Junior Adamu to score.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Potter's troops will now shift their focus to domestic action as they are set to clash against the manager's former side Brighton on Saturday in the Premier League.