Potter on Hall: He could have scored a couple of goals on another day
By Paul Lagan
Chelsea youngster Lewis Hall was a hit for the Blues on Wednesday night but will be relegated to the subs bench at best for tomorrow’s league visit to Newcastle.
The 18-year-old midfielder had a couple of good chances to open his Chelsea account but was foiled by the excellent Manchester City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.
Chelsea have won just twice in the last seven matches, both in Europe, and it will be a tough task to get any points from resurgent Newcastle who sit third in the Premier League, six points ahead of seventh place Chelsea.
Hall, who made his Blues bow against Chesterfield in January in the FA Cup said of his game at the Etihad Stadium where the west Londoners lost 2-0 in the Carabao Cup: “It’s disappointing to lose the game and be knocked out this early, but I’m very happy personally to have an experience like this against a top side at a stadium like this.
“I was really happy to get in the positions to score and I just need to work on that last bit. It’s something I know I can do better with.
“You don’t really have time to think about it. When you get the chance you’ve got to try and do your best to put it away, and I couldn’t do that. Hopefully I can next time.
“It can only benefit me having this experience. It’s only my second appearance, something really special. It is something I can use as a learning curve.”
His head coach Graham Potter, charged with restoring Chelsea’s elite position, while overseeing a change of style is remaining upbeat despite the run of poor league results.
He said: “I thought there were quite a few positives from the game on Wednesday. Obviously, we’re disappointed with the result but in terms of how we played, we created some good chances, there was a better structure and performance level.
“The team looked closer to what we want it to look like [compared to Arsenal]. The boys had great courage and they tried against a top team. Their goalkeeper got man of the match and I think that tells a little bit of the story. But overall, I think it was a step forward for us.”
Of Hall, he said: “I really enjoyed his performance. He took responsibility, took the ball in tight areas, attacked the box, and could’ve scored a couple of goals on another day.
“So it was a really nice performance, a mature performance I thought. He is a quiet lad but goes about his work. I’ve been really impressed with him.”
Chelsea women entered the international break by sweeping aside joint league leaders Manchester United 1-3 at Leigh Valley Sports ground at the weekend.
Strikes from Sam Kerr, Lauren James and a last-minute strike from Erin Cuthbert saw off United who were top of the WSL alongside the Blues and Arsenal on 15 points.
Head coach Emma Hayes, is expected to return to the dugout following an operation when the Blues return to WSL action against Spurs on November 20.The match is at Stamford Bridge.
General manager Paul Green has been on media duties for the club in Hayes’ absence and he said of the win against unbeaten United: “We did have to be patient, they had not conceded a goal before but we knew we had the weapons in our squad that could hurt them. I thought we were worthy winners.