AC Milan – Chelsea: Milan See Red As Blues Recover Top Spot (0-2)
An early Fikayo Tomori red card helped change the course of the game and allowed Chelsea to claim three vital points in their quest for the Champions League knockout stages. Two first-half goals sealed the deal for Graham Potter’s men, who produced a very assured display in a hostile atmosphere at San Siro.
Tactical analysis and match report by James Norton.
Heading into the fourth round of fixtures in this season’s Champions League, Group E remained very much in the balance, with just two points separating RB Salzburg in top spot and Dinamo Zagreb at the bottom. Following Chelsea’s 3-0 success over AC Milan six days prior, both sides were locked on four points apiece, making this meeting arguably more important than the first.
Chelsea and manager Graham Potter illustrated the significance of this fixture by making wholesale changes for their Premier League match against Wolves on Saturday. All the rested players returned to the side as Potter reverted to the 3-4-2-1 formation he deployed in last week’s game at Stamford Bridge. Kepa Arrizabalaga remained in goal behind the back three of Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly. Ahead of them, Jorginho and Mateo Kovačić operated as the double pivot in central midfield, with Reece James and Ben Chilwell as the wing-backs. Up front, Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount played just behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Milan did not have the luxury of being able to rotate for their crucial Serie A game against Juventus, in which they emerged as 2-0 winners. Due to the solid performance, Pioli chose to stick with the fluid 4 . . .