Premier League club side Chelsea has managed to scale through to the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League after beating Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg at the Red Bull Arena in Austria on Tuesday evening.
The Blues, who only managed one point from their first two UEFA Champions League matches this season, were bottom-of-the-table going into matchday three against AC Milan at Stamford Bridge.
A 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia on matchday one had ended Thomas Tuchel’s reign as club manager. In his first game, his replacement, Graham Potter, had to face Tuesday’s opponents Salzburg in London at Stamford Bridge and ended it with a 1-1 draw.
However, the Blues returned to winning ways on the European scene when they beat AC Milan 3-0 on match day three and also got a 2-0 victory away from home at the San Siro in Italy in the return leg.
At that point, they only needed a win in the next game to progress to the round of 16 without any permutation.
Graham Potter’s side took a first-half lead from a fantastic Matteo Kovacic strike in the 23rd minute of the first half. Junior Adamu had restored parity after the break, but Kai Havertz’s 64th-minute strike was enough for the win.
Chelsea only needs a draw in their final game against Dinamo Zagreb at Stamford Bridge to secure their place as the group winners. AC Milan, who are currently in second, needs to hold Salzburg to a draw to finish in that position.
Chelsea’s attention will now return to the Premier League against Brighton at the weekend before hosting the Croatians next midweek. Meanwhile, Dinamo Zagreb lost 4-0 to AC Milan in the group’s second game on Tuesday.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu