UCL: REECE JAMES WINS MAN OF THE MATCH AS CHELSEA BEATS AC-MILLAN 3-0 AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
With a convincing and thoroughly deserving victory over AC Milan at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s Champions League campaign got underway.
Graham Potter era at Chelsea begins with Reece James against a weak AC Milan.
After a disappointing start to the group stage, when Thomas Tuchel’s reign was ended with a loss at Dinamo Zagreb before a draw against Red Bull Salzburg at home, the team’s new manager Graham Potter understood that success was crucial.
Reece James of England was the standout for Chelsea, who ultimately defeated Milan, as they delivered in style.
After 24 minutes, Wesley Fofana scored his first goal for the team after Milan mishandled a corner kick. However, the £70 million defender’s night was cut short by injury shortly after.
When Rade Krunic had the goal at his disposal and shot over just before halftime, the Italians nearly tied the score.
It was a rare nervous moment, and the second half belonged to Chelsea, especially James, who showed why Gareth Southgate, the manager of England, has such high regard for him at the club level.
After 56 minutes, James crossed for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to apply a straightforward finish, and five minutes later, he was the one who put the game away with a powerful shot that soared high past Milan goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu at his near post.
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Potter acknowledged that Chelsea’s victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday came as a result of luck after the team struggled against Salzburg, but was this a convincing victory over a Milan team that barely threatened?
After Fofana’s opening goal, it was left to James to demonstrate exactly why England manager Southgate is prepared to ignore the lobby for Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold to get a place in the England team at right-back.
James is close to the complete defender, solid in defence and also potent in attack here, making Aubameyang’s job easy for Chelsea’s second then crashing in the third himself.
James goes about his business quietly but ability, power and attitude make him a formidable proposition.