- Brentford hosted Chelsea at the Brentford Community Stadium in a Premier League midweek clash
- Chelsea boss Graham Potter headed to the match seeking five wins in his first five league matches
- The record was lost but he should thank his keeper Kepa who made sure they kept a clean sheet in a goalless draw
Graham Potter lost his 100 per cent Premier League record as Chelsea manager courtesy of a 0-0 draw to Brentford in the Brentford Community Stadium.
Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga continued his excellent form to keep the hosts at bay in West London, but a much-changed Chelsea side failed to utilize clear-cut chances during Wednesday’s frustrating draw.
While Potter remains unbeaten in seven games at Chelsea in all competitions, the result saw him lose his perfect Premier League record with the Blues, who missed their chance to close in on the top three – as Tottenham also dropped points at Manchester United.
Chelsea remain seven points adrift of leaders Arsenal after failing to break down Thomas Frank’s side, whose defensive organization came to the fore in an impressive display.
Kepa made a strong save from Ivan Toney’s header as Chelsea withstood a flurry of early Brentford corners, before Conor Gallagher limped off after just 15 minutes in a blow for the Blues.
The Spain international bettered that stop with a staggering reflex save after 33 minutes, clawing another Toney header away from goal after the striker latched onto a second ball in Chelsea’s penalty area.
David Raya made his only save of the opening half from Cesar Azpilicueta’s low drive two minutes later, before Bryan Mbeumo nodded straight at Kepa after the restart.
Chelsea improved following the introductions of forwards Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic, but their offensive woes were summed up by Kai Havertz shooting straight at Raya after finding space in the area.
Kepa stood firm once again to stop Toney’s low effort with eight minutes remaining, as both defences refused to be beaten in an even affair.
Having made an impressive start to his Stamford Bridge tenure, Potter approached Wednesday’s match looking to become just the fifth Chelsea boss to win his first four Premier League matches at the helm (after Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti and Maurizio Sarri), and just the eighth man to do so with any club in the competition.
A fifth consecutive clean sheet for Chelsea in all competitions ensured Potter retained his unbeaten record, but their old creative issues returned as the Blues failed to find a way past Brentford’s outstanding back three.
Despite the frustrating results, Kepa made seven saves to help Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Aston Villa last time out – he wasn’t quite as busy at Brentford, but another fine display of shot-stopping saw Kepa repay Potter’s faith once again.
The 28-year-old, who has supplanted Edouard Mendy as Chelsea’s number one, made five saves to preserve his fifth clean sheet in eight appearances this season (in all competitions).
Ahead of the Wednesday night clash, Toney had scored six goals in his previous five Premier League matches, accounting for 75 per cent of Brentford’s goals in that run (6/8). The message to Chelsea was clear; if they could stop Toney, they would stand a great chance of stopping the Bees.
Toney’s tallies of four shots and 0.76 expected goals were both game-highs, but the striker found Kepa in inspired form as Brentford fell short of a surprise win.
Both clubs will be in League action during the weekend with Chelsea hosting Manchester United in a huge Premier League clash on Saturday, while Brentford travel to struggling Aston Villa the following day.