Joao Felix: Graham Potter Explains Half Time Substitution in Win Over Leicester

Joao Felix: Graham Potter Explains Half Time Substitution in Win Over Leicester

Martin Moses
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:28 PM
  • Joao Felix was taken off for tactical reasons in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Leicester City
  • The on-loan striker from Atletico Madrid was withdrawn at half-time after a disappointing first-half
  • He survived a serious injury after his ankle was stamped on by Foxes' fullback Ricardo Perreira

Graham Potter has revealed why he took Joao Felix off at half-time in Chelsea's away win at the King Power Stadium on March 11th.

Chelsea beat Leicester City 3-1 to continue with their mini-revival after an extended period of poor results under an embattled Potter. The win on Saturday made it three consecutive wins in all competitions.

Joao Felix, Chelsea, Graham Potter, Leicester City
Joao Felix lies on the ground during Chelsea's game against Leicester City on March 11th. Photo by Mike Egerton.
Source: Getty Images

A Ben Chilwell stunner, a beautiful Kai Havertz lob and a Mateo Kovacic finish from close range was enough to render Patson Daka's bolt useless to keep Chelsea's faint hopes of European football alive.

However, the win came at a cost as on-loan striker Felix appeared to pick up an injury in the first half. The Portuguese forward was a target of very feisty attacks from the home side, with Ricardo Perreira extremely lucky to avoid a sending-off after stamping on his foot.

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The 23-year-old was withdrawn at half-time, with Conor Gallagher taking his place. Potter has now explained the thinking behind that decision.

"Tactically, I wanted to use an extra midfielder. I felt we needed someone who could ball win, a different profile and I thought Conor was fantastic," as quoted by Evening Standard.

Felix's situation at Chelsea

The news will come as a double-edged sword to Chelsea fans. Good news in the sense that Felix did not pick up an injury that would confine him on the mending table for a long time. The Blues have had their fair share of injury woes that has greatly destabilised Potter's plans this season.

However, Felix has now been substituted in the last four games after he did little to impress. His loan option doesn't have a buy option, but he has indicated an interest in remaining at Stamford Bridge.

His chemistry with Havertz is yet to hit the desired standards. He will have to put in more work to convince Todd Boehly to sanction a permanent move for him.

Mudryk unleashes Drogba celebration

In the same game, Sports Brief has reported that Chelsea fans are convinced Mykhailo Mudryk paid tribute to Didier Drogba with his goal celebration

The Blues went into the game buoyed from their Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund in midweek and started the game brightly, with Ben Chilwell finding the net against his former club.

In the second half, Mudryk, who was a live wire throughout the game, thought he had found the net with a decent effort, but his goal was ruled out for offside. No one gave the Ukranian the memo in the initial moments after scoring as he emphatically ran to the corner flag in celebration before knee-sliding and thrusting his hands in celebration.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Graham Potter