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FOOTBALL SPORTS UPDATE

UCL: Chelsea held by RB Salzburg at Stamford Bridge

A new era, but the old problems remain. Chelsea dominated, failed to pull clear, conceded, drew. Obviously, it could be worse. Yet for Graham Potter, at his first game as participant and spectator, he would have hoped for more.

There were 15 minutes remaining when Salzburg, who had been second best much of the game, caused Stamford Bridge to fall silent for the second time in the night.

An impressive exchange of passes, from the back and through the midfield, ended with substitute Junior Adamu sprinting down the right flank.

His low cross was met by Swiss international Noah Okafar, who lost Thiago Silva, and turned the ball smartly past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. First time, too, you’ll notice. How Chelsea could have done with a similar sense of determination.

It wasn’t like they weren’t warned. Just two minutes earlier, Okafor had forced a fine save from Arrizabalaga with a flicked header, at a time in the game when many had decided one would be enough in Potter’s first game.

Earlier this week, he admitted he had never attended a match in this competition, let alone been involved in one, and now he knows how hard it is, even against those teams classed as fodder.

Potter is, incredibly, only the eighth English manager to lead a time into this competition and just two won their first game. True, victory hardly proved a lasting omen for Craig Shakespeare at Leicester, or Michael Carrick at Manchester United, but Potter still wouldn’t have minded being in that company.

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