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Chelsea verdict: Potter shows he’s not afraid to make big calls after hooking £62m Cucurella in first half vs Man Utd

GRAHAM POTTER proved he is not afraid to make a big call after hooking £62million man Marc Cucurella before half time.

The defender, who played at Brighton under Potter, lasted just 35 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

Marc Cucurella makes way for Mateo Kovacic

The defender was replaced by Mateo Kovacic, with the Blues being overrun in midfield.

It allowed Chelsea to switch from a back three to four, with Trevoh Chalobah and Thiago Silva partnering up and Ben Chilwell going to left-back.

At the time, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho were being dominated by Manchester United’s midfield trio.

Kovacic’s arrival allowed Jorginho to drop into a deep-lying role with the Croatian and Loftus-Cheek going either side.

In the second half, Chelsea had for more joy in the middle of the park and controlled that area of the pitch.

It took bottle for Potter to not only switch his shape so early but to also bring off a summer signing the club’s new owners paid big money for.

And it almost paid dividends as Jorginho thought he had snatched all three points with ten minutes to go, having converted from the spot.

But United’s pressure paid off as an injury-time header from Casemiro ensured the points were shared.


Probably deservedly so too.

And while Potter fixed the midfield, momentarily at least, his focus should now be shifted to the final third.

Chelsea only looked like scoring from a set-piece or moment of magic, which was not forthcoming.

Kai Havertz was dropped alongside Armando Broja with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling coming in.

Aubameyang was completely off the boil andslow to react to half chances, while Sterling had little impact on the game.

Potter, like the man he replaced in September Thomas Tuchel, still does not know his best attacking line up.

And it is not like he is short of options either, with Christian Pulisic, Havertz, Mason Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling and Broja all capable of goals.

After Potter fixed up his midfield at Stamford Bridge, he must now do the same with his attacking line or else he faces points going to waste.

Chelsea Manager Graham Potter watches on at Stamford Bridge

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