Chelsea boss Graham Potter allays Denis Zakaria injury fears amid anxious wait after Ben Chilwell kick

The Juventus loanee finally bowed out of the Blues in Wednesday night’s dead rubber Group E clash at Stamford Bridge, two months after joining the club on summer deadline day, scoring what s turned out to be the winning goal after half an hour after Raheem Sterling. had already canceled out Bruno Petkovic’s first clash in west London.

Chelsea’s comeback win was overshadowed by injury to Ben Chilwell, whose World Cup hopes with England could be in jeopardy after limping off with an apparent hamstring problem deep in stoppage time of the second half.

“Not great,” Potter said of Chilwell’s injury after the game. “Obviously, when he stops like that, it’s a concern. Obviously we have to scan it but it’s not positive at the moment.

“It’s a blow for us in an otherwise positive evening. To see him stop like that, it’s not a great show. So fingers crossed when we get it scanned, it’s not that bad. It may not be as bad, but we have to keep our fingers crossed for now. But clearly, we are disappointed.

Winner of the match: Denis Zakaria made a big impression on his long-awaited Chelsea debut

/ Getty Images

“I spoke to him briefly. He just felt something as he left. He is disappointed and upset.

While Chelsea face an anxious wait on Chilwell, there was at least some good news on Zakaria. The Swiss international was also replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek with less than 20 minutes remaining against Zagreb after appearing to suffer his own blow.

However, Potter later claimed it was just a contact issue and he suffered no lasting damage as questions arose as to whether he should be involved in the derby. in the London Premier League on Sunday against leaders Arsenal at the Bridge.

“He just got kicked. Just contact. He was fine. No problem with him,” Potter said.

Asked if he was surprised by the quality of Zakaria’s performance against Zagreb given his total lack of football in recent weeks, the Chelsea manager added: “He was, as you can tell. imagine him, frustrated and disappointed when he doesn’t play. It’s a player’s life but he did very well.

“He kept himself fit, he trained really hard, supported the team and his teammates in a really good way. When you do that, you give yourself a chance to perform when the opportunity arises. So credit to him. Everyone was so happy for him and it was a great story for the whole band I think.


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