GRAHAM POTTER had by no means even been to a sport of Champions League soccer till this one.
And Chelsea’s new supervisor goes to need to acquaint himself with Europe’s elite membership competitors fairly damned rapidly if the 2021 European champions are to keep away from a chastening group-stage exit.
Salzburg striker Noah Okafor surprised Stamford Bridge with a late equaliser, after Raheem Sterling had netted the opening goal of the Potter period.
And Chelsea now head right into a double-header in opposition to AC Milan, backside of Group E and needing a few optimistic outcomes if they’re to advance to the group stage.
Potter, a low-key man, was given a low-key entrance on his opening night time at Stamford Bridge.
And though this was a far superior efficiency to final week’s defeat in Dinamo Zagreb – which sealed Thomas Tuchel’s destiny – the consequence was one other poor one.
It has been a wierd introduction for Potter, tempted away from Brighton on the day The Queen died, and with this his solely fixture in his first three-and-half weeks as Chelsea supervisor.
With most of his squad away on worldwide responsibility for the following fortnight, there can be treasured little time to place issues proper.
Chelsea dominated for lengthy spells however there have been age-old issues for Potter to familiarize yourself with – particularly the curse of the No 9 shirt which already appears to be consuming its latest inhabitant Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It was an evening for commemoration – two Chelsea Pensioners laid wreaths for the late Queen, the Bridge sang ‘God Save The King’ regardless of UEFA refusing an official rendition and, not like at Anfield, they managed a full minute’s silence.
The Champions League anthem was not performed as, just like the beeps on the self-service check-outs at Morrisons, it was deemed a disrespectful noise.
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Then on 21 minutes, the Chelsea devoted staged a minute’s applause for sacked supervisor Tuchel, who’d lifted the European Cup in 2021.
Pretty a lot the one one that wasn’t talked about was Potter.
The former Brighton boss is just not one to make a fuss anyway however, given the interval of nationwide mourning, he wasn’t launched to the gang over the PA system and there was no acknowledgement from the gang both.
Tuchel’s nice triumph in Porto was solely 16 months in the past however that may be a lengthy, very long time in Chelsea politics, in fact.
Yet whereas Potter doesn’t have the charisma, the movie star or the stellar CV of most Chelsea managers, his appointment is an intriguing one.
A low-profile, over-achieving English supervisor getting a stab at a high job has big novelty worth.
And Potter benched Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofona, £105million value of summer season signings, and from the teamsheet, it appeared as if he may be reverting to a again 4.
It was although, a again three, with Sterling and Reece James each employed as attack-minded wing-backs.
Chelsea made a fast start with Aubameyang – who’d at the very least had the decency to cover his face with a masks in Zagreb final week – passing up an early alternative when he hooked huge from shut vary.
But Salzburg – whose personal supervisor Matthias Jaissle was way more “showbiz” in his go well with, white trainers and no socks – have been as vigorous as their eye-catching younger boss.
After Kai Havertz had whistled a shot simply huge, Banjamin Sesko’s curling shot was turned across the post by an alert Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Sterling had loved one or two respectable moments within the first half, reducing in from the left, however he made his mark within the forty eighth minute.
James fed Mason Mount, whose low centre evaded two Salzburg defenders and Aubameyang, and rolled to Sterling who bent a shot which was tucked into the underside nook of the web with a goodnight kiss.
Chelsea have been taking part in some respectable stuff now however there was nonetheless little finish product.
Too typically, enterprising strikes have been minimize quick when the ball reached both Aubameyang or Kai Havertz.
And halfway by the second half each of Chelsea’s forwards have been hooked by Potter – with Armando Broja and Ruben Loftus-Cheek despatched on of their place.
Broja, a favorite with Blues followers, nearly scored inside seconds however bent his shot huge and was dominated narrowly offside.
There was a scare for Potter’s males when Dijon Kameri whipped in a cross and Okafor headed straight at Kepa.
But minutes later, the Austrians made good on that warning.
Mateo Kovacic gave the impression to be fouled as they cleared their traces however because the Croatian midfielder lay susceptible, Salzburg fizzed ahead.
And when Thiago Silva mistimed a deal with, Junior Adamu in the reduction of for Okafor to drill dwelling the Seventy fifth-minute leveller.
There was nearly an on the spot response when Loftus-Cheek was up-ended on the sting of the field and from Marc Cucurella’s free-kick, however James whistled one narrowly over the bar.
Kovacic was changed by Hakim Ziyech, who was booed by massive sections of the Chelsea assist who really feel, maybe harshly, he downed instruments on Tuchel.
Chelsea piled on the strain however Broja snatched at his shot in injury-time, clearing the bar, and Salzburg had a really helpful level.