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Red Bull Salzburg v Chelsea: Champions League – live | Champions League


Key events

19 mins: The first lull of the game. Both teams went to hell for the leather, they earned the right to relax a bit.

17 mins: Seiwald loops a strange cross from a deep spot on the right. Kjærgaard can’t meet him at the farthest batting, but Chelsea were light at the back and would have been exposed with a better ball.

15 minutes: Cucurella plays a very risky ball to the face of his own box from the left. He pretty much escapes Okafor, but Chelsea are only half clear, and Sucic quickly runs back to their box with the ball. He skins her well above the bar.

13 mins: Pulisic has a probe down right this time. Nothing to do. Salzburg counter. Kjærgaard swings a speculative cross from the left, but it’s too strong for Adamu. A nice and bright feel to this game.

11 minutes: Kepa’s reckless corner forward is intercepted and leads to another corner. Nothing comes of it, but after being pushed back at the very start, the hosts respond with their own high-octane pressing.

9 minutes: … but it was Salzburg who won the game’s first corner, Dedić slashing his way to the right and beating it over Sterling. The resulting free-kick is nearly met by Bernardo at the near post, but Chalobah’s presence is enough to deter him. It’s a good defense.

7 minutes: Pulisic turns on the jets to make room on the left. He sparkles in a low cross that Gourna-Douath intercepts, then almost misses the game for a corner. The Salzburg midfielder pretty much stops the ball from going out, then draws a foul from Pulisic. There wasn’t much in there, and Gourna-Douath got away with one.

5 minutes : Chelsea started on the front foot – that’s what Salzburg usually do here – and they swarm the hosts in possession from 30 yards out. Gallagher almost releases Aubameyang into the inside right channel and into the box but the pass is a bit brisk and the striker can’t control. Kohn, his head now clear except for those two excuses clinging to it, calmly collects himself.

4 minutes: Fortunately, Kohn quickly got back to his feet, although he took a good snap from Havertz there. It was completely innocent and Havertz’s genuine apology is accepted. Whether the one Kohn gets from Bernardo deserves equal grace is a moot point, but the brave Guardian accepts it anyway.

2 minutes : Bernardo returns a weak defensive header towards his goalkeeper Kohn. Havertz has the right to go for the ball – it’s 51-49 in favor of the keeper at best – and although Kohn clears bravely, he is caught by the Chelsea striker’s knee. Ouch.

After an extremely warm and grateful applause in memory of Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who died last weekend, Chelsea got the ball rolling. A real emotional moment. Angel’s wings.

The teams are out! Salzburg are in their bespoke European grey, Chelsea’s first-choice blue. We’ll be leaving once the sold younger brother of Zadok the Priest does his rounds of marketing for UEFA.

Graham Potter speaks to BT Sport. “We will try to [qualify] tonight. We are going to be positive. We know we are playing against a tough opponent, they are making it very difficult here so it is not easy. But we have to try to bring our game to the match. Salzburg are a tough team to play against, they attack with clarity, defend with clarity and are very aggressive and intense. You have to use width against them. They defend quite narrow. Raheem Sterling will play wide. If we can give him the ball, we hope he can cause them problems.

Graham Potter has made four changes to Chelsea’s starting XI. Mateo Kovacic, Conor Gallagher, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz all find their places after the 1-1 draw with Manchester United last Saturday. Ben Chilwell, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount fall to the bench.

The teams

Red Bull Salzburg: Kohn, Dedic, Wober, Pavlovic, Bernardo, Gourna-Douath, Seiwald, Kjaergaard, Sucic, Adamu, Okafor.
Replacements: Mantl, van der Brempt, Piatkowski, Baidoo, Ulmer, Simic, Diarra, Sesko, Walke.

Chelsea: Kepa, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Cucurella, Sterling, Kovacic, Jorginho, Pulisic, Gallagher, Havertz, Aubameyang.
Subs: Loftus-Cheek, Bettinelli, Mendy, Broja, Mount, Zakaria, Chilwell, Ziyech, Azpilicueta, Chukwuemeka.

Arbitrator: Sandro Scharer (Switzerland).

Preamble

It happened last time in Group E…

…and so, if Graham Potter’s side win in Austria tonight, they will qualify for this season’s Champions League knockout stage. Kick-off is at Vespers, Saint Crispin’s Day 5.45pm BST. It’s on!

theguardian

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