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Potter defends Marc Cucurella after Chelsea fans boo £62m signing during West Ham clash



(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Graham Potter has defended Marc Cucurella after Chelsea fans booed the £62 million signing during their Premier League clash against West Ham United.

The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday against the Hammers in a London derby despite having the ball in the back of the net three times.

Joao Felix opened the scoring in the 16th minute, giving Chelsea the lead after his earlier goal had been chalked off.

Hosts, West Ham, were hanging on in the first half, but the game was swung on its head when former Blue, Emerson converted at the back post from a Vladimir Coufal delivery that had been flicked on by Jarrod Bowen.

In the second 45, the contest was more even, but the visitors still had opportunities to win the game, but failed to make them count.

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It looked as though at one point, Chelsea were going to walk away with nothing, Tomas Soucek fired David Moyes’ side in front in the 82nd minute, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Soucek was involved in yet more drama in the closing moments, a Conor Gallagher effort in the 89th minute hit the Czech internationals hand, but after a short VAR check nothing was given, leaving the visitors outraged.

While it was a disappointing result for Chelsea, there were plenty of positives and good performances, however one player who struggled was Cucurella.

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The Spaniard was largely at fault for the West Ham goal, he allowed Coufal time and space to cross the ball and was subject to some stick from the travelling supporters.

Following the game, head coach Potter touched upon the criticisms the defender received, he said: “Supporters are entitled to their opinion of course, as I said in the previous press conference I don’t think Marc is in his best moment but he has been part of a team that kept a clean sheet against Liverpool and Fulham.

“Marc had interest from another football club in the summer, he’s not a bad player at all.

“We need to stick together and help him but supporters are entitled to their opinion.”

Next up for the Blues they face a tough test against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, with Ben Chilwell coming onto replace Cucurella in the second half, the England international could be handed the nod to start on Wednesday.