GRAHAM POTTER proved he is not afraid to make a big call after hooking £62million man Marc Cucurella before half time. The defender, who played at Brighton under Potter, made away after 35 minutes for Mateo Kovacic It allowed Chelsea to switch from a back three to four, with Trevoh Chalobah and Thiago Silva partnering up and Ben Chilwell going to left-back.
At the time, midfield pair Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho were being overrun in midfield by Manchester United’s trio. Kovacic’s arrival allowed Jorginho to drop into a deep-lying role with the oncoming Croatian and Loftus-Cheek going either side. In the second half, Chelsea had for more joy in the middle of the park and at times controlled that are of the pitch.
It took bottle for Potter to not only switch his shap so early but to also bring off a summer signing the club’s new owners paid big money for. And it almost paid dividends as Jorginho thought he had snatched all three points with ten minutes t go, having converted from the spot. But United’s pressure paid off as an injury-time header from Casemiro ensured the points were shared. Probably deservedly so too.
And while Potter fixed the midfield, momentarily at least, his focus should now be shifted to the final third. Chelsea only looked like scoring from a set-piece moment of magic, which was not forthcoming. Kai Havertz was dropped alongside Armando Broja with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling coming in. Aubameyang was completely off the boil, slow to react to half chances, while Sterling had little impact on the game. Potter, like the man he replaced in September Thomas Tuchel, still does not know his best attacking line up.
And it is not like he is short of options either, with Christian Pulisic, Havertz, Mason Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling and Broja all capable of goals. After Potter fixed up his midfield at Stamford Bridge, he must now do the same with his attackin line or else he faces points going to waste.