Jan 29, 2023

Defeat Against City At Etihad Is “Painful” – Graham Potter

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Chelsea returns to action on Thursday evening when they make the short trip to face neighbours Fulham in the Premier League.

FILE PHOTO: Potter has acknowledged that aspects of Chelsea's performance during their 4-0 defeat at Manchester City were "painful". PICTURE: Getty Images

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LONDON: Graham Potter has acknowledged that aspects of Chelsea’s performance during their 4-0 defeat at Manchester City were “painful”.

Having battled valiantly in a 1-0 loss to the same opponents in the Premier League on Thursday, Chelsea were comprehensively outplayed by City in the FA Cup third round on Sunday evening.

City were 3-0 ahead at halftime courtesy of a Riyad Mahrez free-kick, Julian Alvarez penalty and Phil Foden finish after a flowing team move.

Chelsea failed to have a single shot on goal during the opening 45 minutes, and they only enjoyed brief moments of joy in the final third after the break.

City were in a position where they could take their foot off the gas and manage the game, their only strike coming through a second spot kick from Mahrez during the closing stages.

Potter’s side has now lost six of their last nine games, their only two wins during that period coming against Dinamo Zagreb and Bournemouth.

In his post-match press conference, Potter admitted that Chelsea had been second best throughout the contest at the Etihad Stadium, saying that the West Londoners were “suffering” as a football club.

The Englishman told reporters: “I thought we were second best to a very good side. Obviously, we’re not in a great moment ourselves and even though it was a cagey first 20 minutes we couldn’t attack the backline well enough or attack as well as we’d like. Manchester City did really well in terms of stopping us do that but at the same time, we struggled.

“It’s a fantastic first goal in terms of a strike from a free kick and then there was the strange penalty and it’s then 2-0. We then had to chase the ball against Man City and we were caught between trying to commit more men forward and not being opened up. The first half was painful and tough for us all.

“Like I’ve said, you can make excuses and look for reasons or you can say it’s not good enough. Both of those answers are correct so we have to keep improving and stick together because clearly we’re suffering as a football club and it’s not nice at all. That’s where we’re at at the moment.”

Chelsea returns to action on Thursday evening when they make the short trip to face neighbours Fulham in the Premier League.

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