Animated Graham Potter shows fight for his Chelsea future after make-or-break Leeds win
Graham Potter cut an animated figure on the touchline as he fought for his Chelsea future and ended a six-game winless run against Leeds at Stamford Bridge.
Putting in the hard yards in his technical area, the 47-year-old was vocal on the touchline issuing instructions to his side after they returned to a 3-4-3 formation.
At times, the Blues showed green shoots of progress, again starting the match well but wasting their chances.
After Joao Felix hit the bar from a good move involving Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz would also miss a one-on-one, leaving Potter searching for his matchwinner elsewhere.
Step up Wesley Fofana, the unlikely goalscorer, heading in Ben Chilwell’s 53rd-minute corner, just the second set-piece goal under Potter for the struggling west Londoners.
That moment edged Chelsea ahead, ending a 400-minute-plus goal drought in all competitions.
With goals still hard to come by, the Blues had to dig in late on and had a few scares against the relegation candidates, particularly a deflected close-range shot by Georginio Rutter.
They showed the fighting spirit to secure a 1-0 victory after Potter issued a rallying cry to fight for points while confidence is low.
By hook or by crook, Chelsea won. As a performance, it still fell way below the level they want to get to but the players left the field smiling, having looked anything but happy in recent weeks.
A win, however it came, offers hope that a traumatic run that threatened to kill Chelsea’s season and Potter’s tenure is about to end.
It can breed positivity ahead of a Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund that represents the last chance of silverware this season.
Chelsea are still rebuilding around a new squad of players signed by the new Todd Boehly-led ownership group.
They will have renewed hope that Potter can still lead this group, just as the atmosphere threatened to turn mutinous in a difficult season of transition.