SALZBURG, Austria – Kai Havertz’s second-half goal sent Chelsea into the round of 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over Salzburg.
Havertz scored the winning goal from outside the area in the 64th minute for Chelsea to consolidate first place in Group E ahead of Milan’s game at Dinamo Zagreb later. Chelsea were four points clear of second-placed Salzburg, while Milan and Zagreb were two points behind before the end of the match. One round to go after Tuesday’s games.
Salzburg did well to stop the visitors’ offensive incursions until Mateo Kovačić opened the scoring with Chelsea’s first chance in the 23rd minute. Home captain Maximilian Wöber blocked Christian Pulišić’s shot, but only until Kovačić guided the ball with the inside of the left boot in the upper left corner.
Pulišić was only making his third appearance for Chelsea this season and also scored Havertz for the second goal.
Graham Potter’s team took over after the opening.
Salzburg goalkeeper Philipp Köhn did well to deny Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shortly afterwards, and the Gabon striker had another chance to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute when he failed to beat Köhn one-on-one.
It only seemed a matter of time before the dominant visitors scored the second goal, but Köhn made a one-handed save to thwart Aubameyang again just before half-time.
Matthias Jaissle’s halftime talk evidently had an effect as Salzburg looked transformed after the break.
Wöber delivered a brilliant cross for Junior Adamu to equalize with a touch in the 49th minute.
But Pulišić got past Wöber and Maurits Kjaergaard before serving Havertz to respond with a shot that went under the bar.
Substitute Benjamin Šeško made a clever save by Kepa Arrizabalaga in response and the Spanish keeper was again alert to stop Amar Dedić and Dijon Kameri late in the game.