Chelsea make it back-to-back Champions League victories over AC Milan

Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graham_Potter_Cropped.jpg

Chelsea secured an emphatic 2-0 win over AC Milan at San Siro on Tuesday (11 October) to go top of their Champions League group.

The Blues had lost their opening game of 2022-23 in Group E to Dinamo Zagreb, leading to the sacking of Thomas Tuchel, while manager Graham Potter started life as the Blues manager with a draw against Red Bull Salzburg.

However, back-to-back wins over Milan have seen Chelsea move to the top of the table, and four more points from their next two games of the group stages would be enough to send them into the knockout stages.

Fikayo Tomori was sent off after pulling Mason Mount in the box 18 minutes into the game, denying his former teammate and fellow Chelsea academy graduate a goalscoring opportunity, and Jorginho buried the subsequent penalty, sending goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu the other way.

The Italians came close to drawing level a few minutes later, but another Blues employee, Olivier Giroud, could only direct his header wide.

Milan regretted the missed chance as it did not take long for the visitors to double their lead.

It was a night of reunions as former Milan youth player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was also returning to San Siro, and he put his side 2-0 up with 11 minutes left before the end of first-half with a well-taken strike.

With I Rossoneri down to 10 men, Chelsea controlled and dominated the game, and while they could not add to their tally in the second-half, there was never a point where they were at the risk of relinquishing their comfortable lead.

The Blues will be confident of getting the needed points when they come up against Salzburg and Zagreb, and they will be keen to prove their worth after failing to do so during the first-leg encounters with both teams.

On the other hand, Milan are third in the group having won one and drawn one of their opening two games of the campaign, but they are still very much in the race to book a place in the last-16, and winning their next two games will hand them a berth in the knockout stages.

The back-to-back losses to Chelsea have put the Serie A giants at risk of an early elimination in the Champions League, and they may have to settle for a place in the Europa League last-32 if they finish third.

While they are struggling in Europe, Milan are on course to defend their Italian top-flight title, with just three points between them and current leaders Napoli after 10 games.

On the other hand, Chelsea are eight points behind leaders Arsenal in the Premier League table, with a game in hand, and not many see them as title contenders this season.

Nevertheless, Potter will be keen for his side to mount strong challenges across all competitions, and the side cannot be ruled out of any of the races given the quality within the squad.

The 2020-21 Champions League winners ended last season with no silverware, and the players will be hungry to make amendments this term.