Graham Potter thinks Chelsea were falsely denied a late penalty in Saturday’s draw with West Ham, but the head coach refused to openly call out the officials.
The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium, with former Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri cancelling out Joao Felix’s opener.
VAR then came to Chelsea’s rescue in the 82nd minute as Tomas Soucek tapped in a rebound, the goal disallowed due to Declan Rice being offside beforehand.
But Chelsea were adamant they should have then been given a penalty soon after, as Soucek blocked Conor Gallagher’s effort with his hand.
The incident did not go to a VAR review, with referee Craig Pawson’s decision ultimately final despite it looking a glaring error.
Potter did not appear as angry as some might have expected, however.
“It looks it [a penalty] but these are the little things you need to go in your favour and at the moment they are not, so that’s life,” he told BT Sport.
“There is nothing to complain about there. We have to keep working. There were positives and some good attacking moments from players who are adapting to the Premier League.
“That’s where we’re at. We just have to keep moving forward.”
Soucek makes a great save from Conor Gallagher.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 11, 2023
Joao Felix was making his return after receiving a red card on his debut last month, while fellow new arrivals Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke joined him and Kai Havertz in attack.
The first 25 minutes were arguably as fluent as Chelsea have ever been in the league since Potter’s appointment in September, with Joao Felix at the centre of many of their most threatening passages of play.
Enzo Fernandez also caught the eye in midfield, with his sumptuous cross teeing up the 16th-minute opener, and Potter felt there were certainly positives to take in despite the disappointing result, a third successive league draw that leaves them ninth.
“I think you saw the potential in the first half,” he said to BBC Sport. “You can’t control what people say from the outside, you see it how it is and carry on working.
“They are a good group and we are excited with the team and the potential, but it is still a work in progress.
“The second half was more of a reflection of where we are in terms of integrating new players and getting players up to speed in the Premier League.”
On Fernandez, he added: “It is his second game. He is a young player but you can see his quality and his personality.
“Like Joao Felix, Madueke and Mudryk, he will get better the more we understand them and they understand us. It is a process that you can’t really short circuit.”
Chelsea now turn their attention to the Champions League with a trip to Borussia Dortmund up next on Wednesday.