Reece James injury blow mars Chelsea’s Champions League win against AC Milan
Chelsea topped Champions League Group E with a 2-0 win over 10-man AC Milan, thanks to Reece James’ World Cup injury scare.
James struck a forlorn figure as he trudged off with an apparent leg complaint midway through the second half, adding to Chelsea’s and England’s injury problems.
Chelsea’s fourth win in a row in all competitions was secured by Jorginho’s penalty and a brilliant Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finish.
Former Blues defender Tomori had a night to forget at the San Siro after being sent off in the 18th minute, handing his old team the lead.
England may have the strongest right-back lineup in the world, but manager Gareth Southgate’s options for Qatar are becoming more constrained by the day.
After groin surgery, Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is rated only 50-50 to make the World Cup, which begins on November 20.
Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool has an ankle injury, and James has added to his concerns.
At the moment, Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier appears to be the national team’s sole fit established right-back, though both club and country will be hoping for good news on James.
Fikayo Tomori reacts to receiving a red card (Antonio Calanni/AP).
In the build-up to this rematch, Tomori unleashed his rage from Milan’s 3-0 humiliation at Stamford Bridge.
If the 24-year-old entered the competition with his jaws clenched, he departed the San Siro ground with steam shooting out of his ears.
Tomori yelled at referee Daniel Siebert, fourth official Daniel Schlager, and a slew of innocent onlookers after being sent off.
Mason Mount was hampered in the area by the Canadian-born centre-back, and he paid the price.
Tomori, as the final man, could have few complaints, even if some of the foul appeared soft.
Jorginho is illuminated by a laser as he prepares to take Chelsea’s penalty (Fabrizio Carabelli/PA).
Jorginho disregarded the thunderous catcalls and lasers shone into his eyes to convert the spot-kick when Tomori had finally, and grudgingly, fled the platform angry.
The dismissal naturally altered the game, giving the Blues more time and space, particularly in attack.
Ex-Chelsea player Olivier Giroud nodded over when unmarked in the box, but Milan failed to gain a foothold in the first half.
Then, following Mount’s ball, Aubameyang stroked home first-time for a superb goal to increase the visitors’ lead.
Mount was replaced at halftime by Conor Gallagher, who promptly pulled a shot narrowly wide as the Blues attempted to keep control.
Given their situational and geographical superiority, Chelsea relaxed off the throttle, while Milan struggled to make an impression.
However, just as the Blues were about to complete the ideal night, James caused Potter yet another injury worry.
England will also be concerned about James’ situation, considering his potential effect in Qatar.
Chelsea, on the other hand, will continue to dominate Group E, with the Blues currently in complete control of their fate following two excellent victories over Milan.
The impact of new boss Potter grows by the day, and west Londoners appear to be warming to the ex-Brighton man’s attitude.