Graham Potter explains the decision to knock out Joao Felix at half-time in Chelsea’s win over Leicester
The striker, on loan from Atletico Madrid, had an eventful 45 minutes at King Power which began when he faced a nasty challenge from Ricardo Pereira in the opening minutes.
As a result, Felix required treatment on his ankle but he recovered to hit the post with a dinking attack that had beaten Danny Ward before being rejected by VAR after putting the finishing touches on a lovely Chelsea move . Replays showed he was just offside.
However, the 23-year-old, who is a real threat in attack, was to blame for Leicester’s equalizer when they lost the ball deep in the Chelsea half and Patson Daka hammered a shot past Kepa Arrizabalaga from just outside the box and obliterated Ben Chilwell’s opener.
Kai Havertz put the visitors ahead with the last shot of the first half and Felix didn’t come out with his teammates after the break when Conor Gallagher was introduced. Chelsea prevailed 3-1, with Mateo Kovacic’s volley sealing the win.
Potter was asked after the game about the decision to send Felix off and whether it had to do with that blow to his ankle or his role in Leicester’s goal.
“From a tactical point of view, I wanted to add an extra midfielder,” Potter said.
“I felt like we needed someone who could win the ball, a different profile and I thought Conor was fantastic.”
Mykhailo Mudryk was used as a false nine in the first half as he returned to the starting XI without Raheem Sterling. The January signing had an easy 45 minutes but grew into the game after the break and had the ball in the net.
His wild celebrations distracted him from the fact that the offside flag had been raised with a knee slide and a few punches before finally looking around.
Mudryk put that disappointment behind him to set up Kovacic’s goal and Potter was full of praise for the winger after the game.
“He’s only going to get better,” said the Chelsea manager.
“He’s a young player who doesn’t have that much experience yet, so he’s getting better and better with every game. His attitude is fantastic.”
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/graham-potter-joao-felix-chelsea-fc-leicester-substitution-b1066581.html Graham Potter explains the decision to knock out Joao Felix at half-time in Chelsea’s win over Leicester