Chelsea ended Borussia Dortmund’s 10-match winning streak on Tuesday. As they claimed a 2-0 victory in the UEFA Champions League, thanks to Kai Havertz penalty.
As a result, Graham Potter’s troops have advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2022-2023 UCL. Even though they lost the first-leg in Germany.
The Blues’ gaffer has now won back-to-back games with the 3-at-the-back formation. It seems he’s going to stick with the setup for a while.
In the absence of Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante. Chelsea players were on top of their games, from the defense to the attack.
The likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, Havertz, Reece James, Raheem Sterling, and others dazzled amazingly.
After their 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge. Graham Potter was able to set two records in the UEFA Champions League.
Of course, the manager hasn’t been impressive in the Premier League. However, he looks unstoppable and balanced in the European competition.
- For the record, Potter has become the first English manager since 2010 to progress through a knockout tie in the UCL.
- Also, he became the second English manager to win five UEFA Champions League games in a single season.
Graham Potter’s Decision over Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The former Arsenal central forward was dropped from the UCL squad list. Which means the manager believes so much in the German.
Graham Potter on Havertz
“It’s too easy to zoom into individuals and blame them, like Havertz, I trust him”
Regardless of what the fans are saying about his decision to continue playing the player. He likes him as a false No.9.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was still one of the best strikers in the league. However, he has fallen out of favor with Potter.
The Gabonese almost left Chelsea for Barcelona in the January transfer window. He later stayed to fight for his place.
Graham Potter believes Kai Havertz adds many things to the team’s performance, more than Aubameyang. And it was obvious in their previous two games.
The Germany international was at his best against Leeds United in the Premier League. Also, he scored a penalty against Borussia Dortmund.
Havertz is a big game player regardless of what the fans are saying. He’s now the Blues’ new designated penalty taker.
He has missed 0 penalties in his entire career, scoring the winning goal (penalty) in the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup vs. Palmeiras.
Graham Potter isn’t a fool for choosing Havertz over Aubameyang. That’s why he keeps starting him, regardless of his display.
Havertz Stats vs Borussia Dortmund
100% dribbles completed
100% tackles won
100% long balls
7 duels won
7x possession won
2 chances created
1.06 expected goals
Having played as a false No.9, he created 2 big chances. No Chelsea player orchestrated more chances than him.
Gradually, the Blues’ gaffer is bringing out the beast in Kai. He has improved massively with regards to his recent games.
Havertz was one of the best players against Borussia Dortmund. Even though he played as a striker, the German dropped deeper into the midfield.
What’s the Difference Between Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?
The Germany international doesn’t isolate himself up front or inside the opponent’s box. He loves to drop deep to link up with his teammates.
On the other hand, the Gabonese, as a standard striker, loves to stay in front, waiting for chances or counter-attacks.
Statistically, Havertz has now created 32 chances for Chelsea in all competitions this campaign.
At the same time, he has been registered in more different positions (LW, CAM, ST, CF) than any other player this campaign.
His versatility and work rate place him above Aubameyang. And that’s the number one reason Potter likes him.
Kai always involves very much in every game. He averages 39.4 touches per 90 minutes, according to Sofascore.
While Pierre-Emerick provides 24.7 per game. Of course, the difference is very clear, and that’s what the manager sees.
Just like Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Havertz plays the central forward role with a lot of freedom.
However, Aubameyang is very similar to Romelu Lukaku, Darwin Núñez Liverpool and Erling Haaland Manchester City.
They all have a few touches on the pitch in a match. Because they like to isolate themselves up front, not dropping to the midfield.
Why Does Graham Potter Prefer Kai Havertz to Aubameyang?
As I have explained earlier, the manager prefers the Germany international because of his work rate.
Also, as a result of his versatility. Havertz can comfortably switch positions on the pitch, regardless of his role.
Against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge. Kai had 51 touches, even though he played as a striker.
Because he dropped deeper to the midfield, combining with his teammates. He had 100% tackles, helping the team’s defensive display.
In all fairness, these are things Aubameyang cannot add to the team’s performance. It’s enough to justify the gaffer’s decision.
Against Leeds United in the Premier League. Havertz played all the positions up front, linking up with Joao Felix and Raheem Sterling.
Interestingly, he played as a false No.9 as an attacking midfielder. He was everywhere in the midfield, making long passes.
In addition, Kai has now created at least 2 clear-cut chances for his teammates in each of his last five matches.
- 2 vs Dortmund (second-leg)
- 2 vs Leeds United
- 3 vs Tottenham
- 3 vs Southampton
- 4 vs Dortmund (first-leg)
The 23-year-old German international usually plays as an attacking midfielder for Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Therefore, he does dazzle as an AM and a ST or CF for Chelsea, playing more than two positions on the pitch.
Respectfully, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doesn’t have the ability to offer such versatility.