Graham Potter vows Chelsea took a ‘step forward’ despite crashing out of the Carabao Cup to Man City

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Graham Potter insisted he was ‘really happy’ with his players’ performances following Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday, claiming his side took a ‘step forward’ despite the setback.

Two goals in five minutes from Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez early in the second half punished the Blues for missing a catalogue of opportunities before the break, as Pep Guardiola’s side advanced to the fourth round of the competition.

The Chelsea manager, who endured successive league defeats by Brighton and Arsenal before heading into the clash at the Etihad, was keen to focus on the signs of improvement after the match.

Potter said during his post-match press conference: ‘I thought there were quite a few positives.

‘Obviously we are disappointed with the result but in terms of how we played, we created some good chances and there was a better structure and a better performance level.

‘The team looked closer to what we want it to look like. The boys had great courage and they tried against a top team.

‘Their keeper got the man of the match I think, which tells a bit of the story. But overall I think it was a step forward for us.’

Christian Pulisic and Lewis Hall were both gifted golden opportunities during the first half but ultimately failed to capitalise for Chelsea, due in part to an exceptional performance by Manchester City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

Whilst focusing on the positives, Potter also addressed Chelsea’s lack of final product after the match.

He also admitted the defence ‘could have done better’ in terms of preventing City’s two goals in the second half.

Echoing similar sentiments to Sky Sports, the manager said: ‘(There was) a lot to like. We created some big chances and attacked well.

‘We weren’t perfect, but did a lot right in the game. It was a pleasing performance, a step forward in how we want to play.

‘I’m disappointed with the result but happy with the performance.

‘We had some big chances. You won’t get many bigger ones here. We had big courage to try to play out. The boys showed quality and courage. I liked a lot of what we did today.

‘We could have done better for their goals. The wall could do better. It’s those fine details you can improve but performance-wise I’m really happy.

‘Lewis Hall did brilliantly. Fantastic performance. Great quality and effort. He took responsibility. Putting the ball in the net is the hardest thing and that’s all he didn’t do today.

‘I’m always concerned when we don’t get results. Our performances haven’t been what we wanted in the last couple of games. But today is what we wanted the team to look like. We looked like a good team.’

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