Graham Potter gets Pep talk as Chelsea show signs of progress despite Manchester City defeat

Graham Potter gets Pep talk as Chelsea show signs of progress despite Manchester City defeat

After another Chelsea loss, Graham Potter had a heart-to-heart with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.

Defeat last night means it is now just two wins in seven games for Potter, and he takes his side to Newcastle on Saturday in need of a win to lift spirits ahead of the World Cup.

Potter answered just two questions in his post-match press conference before he left to set off for London, but he was stopped by Guardiola on his way out of the stadium.

The pair shared a five-minute chat, with Guardiola talking passionately for most of that time and Potter mainly listening.

What was said was out of earshot, but there was a sense that Guardiola would have told Potter to stick to his principles as he faces scrutiny at the start of his Chelsea rebuild.

Pep talk: Graham Potter had a heart-to-heart with Guardiola after Chelsea’s loss to Man City (REUTERS)
Pep talk: Graham Potter had a heart-to-heart with Guardiola after Chelsea’s loss to Man City (REUTERS)

Despite defeat, Guardiola will have seen progress from Chelsea last night. Chelsea had a higher xG (expected goals) — 1.74 to 1.69 — against City and wasted chances that fell to Christian Pulisic and Lewis Hall.

Their lack of finishing was matched by an error at the back, with their wall simply not jumping to allow Riyad Mahrez to score from a free-kick in the 53rd minute.

City counter-attacked just five minutes later to seal victory with a goal from Julian Alvarez. Despite the defeat, there were definite signs of encouragement for the Blues.

“It is not going to happen overnight,” defender Trevoh Chalobah told Standard Sport. “We’re going to get there, we showed a bit of confidence today playing out from the back and had a lot of chances.

“We have got to make progress. We showed some glimpses of things we have been working on that we can take into the next game.”

Newcastle sit six points above Chelsea in third place in the Premier League table. Another defeat at St James’ Park would be a blow to Chelsea’s top-four hopes ahead of the break for the World Cup.

“It is going to be a massive game,” said Chalobah. “They are in good form at the moment. It is a final for us really, we want to go into the World Cup break on a high and with the three points.”