Chelsea sack Graham Potter following dire Aston Villa defeat


Graham Potter’s Chelsea tenure lasted little over six months, with the Blues opting to make their second change in the dugout this season.

Chelsea have sacked head coach Graham Potter following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa left the Blues mired in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

Potter left Brighton and Hove Albion to take charge of Chelsea following Thomas Tuchel’s dismissal in September, but the 47-year-old struggled to inspire consistency during a season of change at Stamford Bridge.

Despite Chelsea spending an estimated £289.7million on players including Enzo Fernandez, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile and others in January, Potter has struggled to lead the Blues into contention for European qualification.

While Chelsea overcame Borussia Dortmund to tee up a Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid, they have won just two of their past nine Premier League games.

Saturday’s home defeat to Aston Villa saw Unai Emery’s team leapfrog Chelsea into the top half of the table, with Potter leaving the Blues in 11th place, 12 points adrift of the top four.

Former Brighton full-back Bruno Saltor, who followed Potter to Chelsea earlier this season, will take the reins as interim head coach.

In a statement on the club’s website, Chelsea thanked Potter for his efforts and said he would “collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition”.

Co-majority owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said: “On behalf of everyone at the club, we want to thank Graham sincerely for his contribution to Chelsea.

“We have the highest degree of respect for Graham as a coach and as a person. He has always conducted himself with professionalism and integrity and we are all disappointed in this outcome.

“Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season.

“We have 10 Premier League games remaining and a Champions League quarter-final ahead.

“We will put every effort and commitment into every one of those games so that we can end the season on a high.”

Chelsea host Liverpool in their next Premier League game on Tuesday before visiting Wolves on Saturday, after which they will travel to the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg of their Champions League last-eight tie against holders Madrid.

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