Chelsea boss Potter ‘frustrated’ by Everton draw and singles out trio
Graham Potter admitted he was frustrated watching his Chelsea side take “a step back” after their 2-2 draw with Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Blues boss felt a familiar feeling of dread as his side squandered two points late on, but Potter declared himself pleased with individual performances from Joao Felix, Enzo Fernandez and Kai Havertz as the trio impressed despite the adverse result.
Chelsea were dominant in terms of possession in the first half and took the lead seven minutes after the interval, with Joao Felix sweeping home a low effort from the edge of the box that went in with help from the post.
Everton responded in perfect fashion from a set piece when Abdoulaye Doucoure nodded past Kepa Arrizabalaga with goal-line technology confirming the ball had crossed the line. The ever-changing momentum of the game swung again in Chelsea’s favour when Reece James was felled inside the box and Havertz stepped up to make it 2-1.
But Potter was left deflated on the touchline after watching super sub Ellis Simms come off the bench to strike home an 89th-minute equaliser for the Toffees, who celebrated widlly on the touchline.
Potter spoke candidly about his frustration at the players’ inability to see out the result, which would have closed the gap on the top four after Tottenham drew earlier on Saturday, but picked out three players – Felix, Fernandez and Havertz – for praise.
“Result-wise it’s a step back,” Potter said. “Performance-wise I think it was a step forward. We attacked well.
“Kai, Joao and Christian Pulisic were positive in the first half, Enzo Fernandez had a good game. There were individual performances that were positive but again, the feeling is frustration because we’ve dropped points.”
The result means Chelsea stretch their unbeaten run to four games but remain 11 points behind fourth-placed Spurs with a game in hand, leaving their top-four hopes in tatters.
Asked what he said in the dressing room to his players, Potter remained tight-lipped over his post-match team-talk but could not hide his frustration at squandering two precious points.
“I would like to keep the conversation private but the boys were frustrated. They put a lot into the game and wanted to win,” he added.
“It was a strong performance but we were really frustrated because we can’t concede the goals we did and expect to win games.”
Havertz in particular may find himself in his manager’s bad books after his celebration, goading Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after scoring from the spot, backfired on the Blues.
The German appeared to gesture towards the England stopper and Potter admitted he was not a fan of the 23-year-old’s conduct.
“I’m not sure, when players score they have an out of body experience, I don’t know,” Potter said when asked about Havertz’s motive behind the celebration.
“I didn’t score many [goals] myself. But yeah, I think he’s enjoyed the celebration and enjoyed it for that, and I don’t think you need to involve the opponent from my perspective.”
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