Chelsea didn’t let a change of venue alter its control over AC Milan, winning 2-0 at the San Siro on Tuesday in a red-card aided UEFA Champions League affair in Italy.
Graham Potter’s Blues now sit first in Group E after former Chelsea back Fikayo Tomori was sent off in the 18th minute for a last man back foul which occurred… in a non-traditional place for such a sending-off. A controversial call that begs a look at the rule book.
Jorginho would convert a penalty and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also scored as the final score line was set by halftime.
[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]
Chelsea beat Milan 3-0 at Stamford Bridge last week as Graham Potter’s side got their first win of the group stage and sit on four points.
Injury-hit Milan remain on four points and sit fourth after Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb drew 1-1. Milan is behind Dinamo on goal differential and two points back of Salzburg.
So, yeah, it’s still very tight in Group E.
Latest UEFA Champions League news
Man City’s 10 men held by Copenhagen after Gomez red card (video) Kylian Mbappe ready to leave Paris Saint-Germain in January (reports) UEFA Champions League: How to watch, predictions, updates, scores, schedule,…
Americans Abroad: Pulisic, Dest start on bench
USMNT winger Christian Pulisic did not feature for Chelsea after starting at the weekend, and it seemed likely that international teammate Sergino Dest would suffer the same fate.
But Brahim Diaz was sacrificed for the far more defensive-minded Dest in the 37th minute as AC Milan looked to stop goal differential from getting out of hand.
Dest played the remaining 52 minutes and missed a glorious chance to pull Milan within a goal early in the second half. He finished with a blocked shot and two tackles while displaying a wide range of passing. If Stefano Pioli can get over the miss, Dest may get more looks based of this showing.
Stars of the show
Kalidou Koulibaly: Serie A familiarity shone bright for Chelsea, especially from the longtime Napoli back
Jorginho: Same as above, controlling the midfield.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: Only needed to make one save but showed his skill as a passer, connecting on 25-of-27 passes. The only misses were on long balls.
Fikayo Tomori red card video
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal video
How to watch AC Milan vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3pm ET, Tuesday
TV Channel: TUDN, Paramount+
Online: Updates via NBCSports.com
Milan have been hit by plenty of injuries and after a gruelling game against Juventus at the weekend, this is a very quick turnaround. Chelsea made seven changes for their win against Wolves and such is the strength of their squad, Potter should revert to pretty much the same lineup which beat Milan last week. Both teams are in good form heading into this one so confidence levels will be high and this is a crucial game in determining which team will move closer to reaching the last 16.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Chelsea’s Kai Havertz scored at the weekend and continues to pop up when needed, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raheem Sterling and Reece James were all rested so they should be razor sharp at the San Siro. Milan’s Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea academy product) popped up with a big goal in the win against Juventus at the weekend and Brahim Diaz (formerly of Man City) also scored a beauty too. Rafael Leao remains the man dangerman for Milan.
The lowdown on AC Milan
Injury issues aside, Stefano Piolo’s side are digging deep early in the season and the reigning Italian champs sit just three points off leaders Napoli. Defensively they have been missing Davide Calabria and Simon Kjaer, while goalkeeper Mike Maignan is also expected to be out with a calf injury. In midfield Alexis Saelemaekers and Charles De Ketelaere have also been hit with injuries but left back Theo Hernandez and Divock Origi did return at the weekend. Up top Olivier Giroud is leading the line heroically and Leao is causing so many problems. Even with injuries piling up, this Milan side will be very tough to break down, especially at home.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
Chelsea’s injury issues have calmed down with Wesley Fofana expected to be out for around a month with a knee injury he picked up against Milan last week. That is nowhere near as bad as the Blues first feared. N’Golo Kante has suffered a setback in his comeback from injury, which is a big blow, while Thiago Silva is back after missing the win against Wolves with a cold. Potter will rotate his lineup once again as the likes of Sterling, James, Silva, Aubameyang, Kovacic and Chilwell are all expected to come back in. Having such a huge squad is perfect for this busy period of intense games every three days between now and November when the World Cup break arrives.
Chelsea makes quick work of 10-man AC Milan at San Siro (video) originally appeared on NBCSports.com