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Aubameyang's five shots on target but Chelsea goal drought extends to four matches

09:54 GMT+3 26/10/2022
PIerre-Emerick Aubameyang Chelsea Salzburg 2022-23
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had one of his best matches in a Chelsea shirt but still ended up without a goal as the Blues beat Red Bull Salzburg 2-1.
  • Aubameyang had much-improved display in Austria
  • Gabonese got Chelsea’s big chances but failed to convert
  • 33-year-old has now gone four games without scoring

WHAT HAPPENED? Aubameyang had five shots on target, including two glorious opportunities in the first half, but fluffed his lines after Mateo Kovacic had given Chelsea a 23rd-minute lead. Junior Adamu responded for Salzburg three minutes after the break, and the Gabon striker had another opportunity to score before Kai Havertz won it for the visitors in the 63rd minute.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: After cutting a lonely figure in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Saturday, Chelsea coach Graham Potter paired Aubameyang with Havertz upfront in a 3-4-1-2 formation and the former Arsenal man had a much-improved display.

He had two golden opportunities before the break, firstly, Havertz was played through and found the Gabonese hitman in space, but the goalkeeper pulled off a diving stop in the one-on-one.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, an exchange down the left flank saw Aubameyang latch on to a Raheem Sterling flick, but the goalkeeper was again equal to his shot, palming the ball low and away to his right.

The 33-year-old was replaced in the 75th minute, leaving the pitch after managing six shots, five on target, while he was more involved in the game with his 28 touches of the ball.

His passing also improved to a 79 per cent pass accuracy against the Austrian side compared to just 44 per cent over the Red Devils.

ALL EYES ON: Having gone three games without a goal, pressure must have been on Aubameyang to end his goal drought but while he got a good number of opportunities, he still missed a chance to add to his three goals for Chelsea.

THE VERDICT: Five shots on target without a goal is mark of a striker who lacks confidence and the 33-year-old looks like he still needs time to regain his best form.

WHAT’S NEXT? Potter takes his Blues to his former club Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday when ‘Auba’ will hope to get among the goals.