Chelsea have made it through to the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 1-2 win over RB Salzburg.
The Blues opened the scoring when Mateo Kovacic rifled in from the edge of the box with his weaker foot firing an unsavable shot into the top corner.
The visitors continued to impress in the first half carving the Austrian side open regularly with quick and intricate passing moves only for goalkeeper Philipp Kohn to keep them in the match.
Salzburg punished Chelsea for not finishing them off when Junior Adamu netted just after the break.
But Graham Potter’s men restored the lead when Kai Havertz curled in beautifully and they managed to survive late pressure to hold on to seal the three points.
TALKING POINT – POTTER CONTINUES UNBEATEN RUN
Chelsea take their unbeaten run to nine games under Potter. He has made an excellent start to life in West London and tonight he will be so impressed with the performance.
After a slow start the Blues came alive and dominated the first half and should have scored more than one. But Salzburg are a good team and have made the Red Bull Arena a fortress rarely losing at home, in fact tonight was their first home loss in the last 40 games. They responded well and equalised but once Chelsea got back in front they showed their tough side.
It was no longer a pretty Potter-ball style but Trevoh Chalobah and Thiago Silva defended well showing strength and resilience as they held on for a vital win.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – TREVOH CHALOBAH
Mateo Kovacic was outstanding but Trevoh Chalobah deserves just as much praise. He was dominant in the air, comfortable with the ball at his feet and partnered Silva at the back so well. They look like a fantastic duo that compliment each other so well with one offering experience while the other has pace.
Chalobah made a number of big headed clearances and is making a late claim to be on the plane to Qatar – if England manager Gareth Southgate wants a young centre-back in the squad with some players out of form then Chalobah is in with a chance playing like that.
RB Salzburg: Kohn 8, Dedic 7, Bernardo 6, Pavlovic 6, Wober 6, Gourna-Douath 7, Kjaergaard 7, Seiwald 6, Sucic 5, Adamu 7, Okafor 6.
Subs: Sesko 6, Ulmer 6, Simic 6, Kameri 6
Chelsea: Kepa 5, Chalobah 9, Silva 8, Cucurella 7, Pulisic 8, Kovacic 9, Gallagher 6, Jorginho 6, Sterling 6, Havertz 7, Aubameyang 5
Subs: Loftus-Cheek 6, Azpilicueta 6, Broja 6, Ziyech 6, Mount 6.
23′ GOAL (KOVACIC): Wow what a stunning finish by Kovacic on his weaker left foot into the top corner. Havertz is tackled in the box and it drops for the Croatian who swings a boot at it and guides it beyond the keeper who didn’t even move. An inch perfect strike by Kovacic.
49′ GOAL (ADAMU): Chelsea were dominant in the opening half but Salzburg are out the blocks fast and equalise. It’s a great cross by Wober on the counter attack and Adamu is there to guide it on the half volley beyond Kepa.
64′ GOAL (HAVERTZ) – Wow – what a goal – take a bow Havertz. Pulisic tries to make something happen and passes to Havertz as he pulls back to the edge of the box. The German opens his body up and curls it into the top corner going in off the bar. Another fantastic goal.