Chelsea ensured qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League with a 2-1 victory over FC Salzburg at the Red Bull Arena on Tuesday, sending them four points at the top of Group E.
The Blues now cannot be caught at the top of Group E, meaning Graham Potter, who is now unbeaten in his first nine matches as Chelsea’s head coach, has the luxury of being able to rest players in the final group game at home to Dinamo Zagreb next week.
Stunning goals scored either side of half-time by Mateo Kovacic, and Kai Havertz set Chelsea on their way to the knockout stages while continuing their unbeaten run since Graham Potter succeeded Thomas Tuchel as a manager in September. Junior Adamu momentarily drew Salzburg level in the second half, but Chelsea’s victory was rarely in doubt.
Chelsea face Dinamo Zagreb — the only side they suffered Champions League defeat this season — in their final group match.
Salzburg remain second in the group with AC Milan, and Zagreb tied at one point behind them — the two sides face off in Tuesday’s later kick-offs.