Graham Potter started his tenure as Chelsea manager in disappointing fashion as his side fell to a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg in the Champions League.
The game had far more significance than the new manager would have hoped for on his first game in charge, with the Blues suffering the embarrassing loss in the competition last week to Dinamo Zagreb.
That result, followed by last night’s effort, left the Blues bottom of the group, with the double-header against AC Milan likely to feature their biggest games of the season ahead of the World Cup break.
Potter faces an uphill battle
However, all signs point to this being an abnormal season in the competition for Chelsea, with OptaJoe revealing stat that this is only the second time the club have failed to win either of their first Champions League games, and it was the first since the 1999/2000 season.
They are currently sitting on a point at the bottom of the group, and Potter will quickly need to put his Champions League inexperience behind him if the Blues are to make it out of the group stage.
Stepping up to the Europa League would be a nightmare scenario for the Blues, who still have midweek obligations, often long drives away from home, with Premier League games likely to pile up after the Cup of the winter world.
The match itself last night brought a number of positives, including Raheem Sterling’s performance in an unknown role.
The England international was used in an inverted winger role on the left, and Marc Cucurella’s involvement in defense saw him shed the majority of his defensive duties, excelling going forward as evidenced by his curling strike in the second half.