Graham Potter reveals reason for subbing off Chelsea star vs Leicester after injury scare

Graham Potter explains why Joao Felix was subbed off Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Leicester

Graham Potter says that his choice to replace Joao Felix was a strategic one after Chelsea soundly defeated Leicester City 3-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.

The attacker, who was playing on loan from Atletico Madrid, had a significant 45 minutes at the King Power Stadium, which started with him being injured by Ricardo Pereira’s vicious challenge in the first few seconds.

This caused Felix to need treatment for his ankle and increased Potter’s risk of injury, but he was back on the field after the treatment and had later seen his dinked attempt that had eluded Danny Ward before even being disallowed by VAR after completing a beautiful Chelsea move. Felix was unfortunate since replays revealed that he was almost offside.

Chelsea star Joao Felix is enjoying a great season at the club. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Chelsea star Joao Felix is enjoying a great season at the club. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Despite being a great threat up front, the 23-year-old became responsible for Leicester’s potential comeback after losing possession of the ball inside the Chelsea half. Patson Daka then swooped in to score from the edge of the box and canceled out Ben Chilwell’s opening goal.

However, Chelsea took the lead through Kai Havertz, while Felix was subbed off with his teammate Conor Gallagher coming on. The Blues then extended the lead when Mateo Kovacic sealed the scoreline 12 minutes from time.

After the game (h/t Evening Standard), Potter was questioned about the decision to remove Felix and if it had anything to do with the foot injury he sustained or his contribution to the Leicester goal, he said:

“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.”

Joao Felix of Chelsea. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Joao Felix of Chelsea. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Potter’s tactics appear to be working and we hope that the players’ great enthusiasm and commitment to winning the game will continue through the end of the season. 

Let’s hope Felix is fine with only a minor impact on his ankle, and while he was benched for this game, it doesn’t matter since he’s one of our best players on the field and can make an impact. That he did, but the Portugal international was unfortunate to have an offside rule against him for his goal.

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It seems that the good times, albeit in small doses, are back in SW6. This makes it three wins in three for us and we have a UEFA Champions League quarter-final to look forward to later this season as well!