Potter explains Aubameyang substitution snub following Felix red card in Chelsea’s derby defeat to Fulham
- Striker on the bench at Craven Cottage
- Blues needed attacking spark
- Under-fire boss turned to other options
WHAT HAPPENED? The Blues, who are enduring a wretched run of form, hit a new low at Craven Cottage on Thursday when going down 2-1 to their west London neighbours. Debutant Joao Felix saw red in that contest, as his Premier League loan from Atletico Madrid got off to the worst possible start, but Potter opted not to introduce Aubameyang – who is generating exit talk at Stamford Bridge – when looking to salvage something from a contest that has piled even more pressure onto his shoulders.
WHAT THEY SAID: Quizzed on why Aubameyang remained on the bench against Fulham, Potter told reporters: “We had a back five and felt we should go to a 4-4-1 and keep Kai [Havertz] on because I felt he was leading the line and winning challenges and duels. We wanted to use Hakim [Ziyech] and Carney [Chukwuemeka] to break from wide and Conor [Gallagher] to break from the centre because you know you’re going to get driven back a bit. So that was the thinking.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Aubameyang finds himself tumbling down the pecking order at Chelsea, with the 33-year-old striker failing to start a game since being hauled off 64 minutes into his reunion with former club Arsenal on November 6.
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WHAT NEXT? Aubameyang’s last goal for Chelsea came in a Champions League clash with Milan on October 11, while his only Premier League effort for the Blues since completing a summer transfer from Barcelona was recorded away at Crystal Palace on October 1.