Chelsea beat Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge 2-0 on Tuesday to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals and ease mounting pressure on head coach Graham Potter. Needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the first leg in Germany three weeks ago, Chelsea got off to a fast start but had to wait until sterling rahimGoal in minute 43 to break the tie.
Kai Havertz he sealed a 2–1 aggregate victory by converting a 53rd-minute penalty at the second attempt. The penalty was awarded after referee Danny Makkelle was sent to the monitor by VAR official Pol Van Boekel to review a hand ball. mario wolf. Havertz’s first effort hit the post, but VAR revealed several Dortmund players encroaching on the box, and Havertz scored the replay.
Christian Pulisic he made his first appearance for Chelsea since 5 January as a late substitute, and Chelsea held on for a precious victory that sees them reach the quarter-finals of Europe’s top club competition for the second successive season.
1. Potter enjoys his best night since becoming Chelsea manager
Chelsea may have beaten Leeds United by a lone unanswered goal last weekend, but Potter was still under significant pressure ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Borussia Dortmund.
The sheer scale of recent investment poured into the club by the owners – around £600m in total – demands a better immediate return than the Blues have achieved of late. An early exit from the Champions League would have strengthened Potter’s critics in arguing that the job might be too big for the 47-year-old to handle.
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Potter was noticeably more animated in this match on the touchline, regularly trying to rally the crowd and reacting to the referee’s decisions with more vigor than usual.
Perhaps the most telling moment came when Havertz stepped up to try and convert his 53rd-minute penalty at the second attempt. Potter sat back in his seat and couldn’t watch. It may have been difficult at times, but surely this must rank as Potter’s best night in charge since he succeeded Thomas Tuchel in September.
The prospect of a Champions League quarter-final next month will give Potter a tangible achievement to aim for if domestic stutters continue. But he will hope that back-to-back wins for the first time since October prove to be a long-overdue turning point.
2. Have Chelsea found their shooting boots?
The lack of goals has been Chelsea’s biggest problem with Potter. It threatened to be another hugely frustrating night as they repeatedly created and then denied a series of chances, including when Havertz hit the post or had the ball in the net with a brilliant finish only to have the offside flag raised.
But this time, Chelsea were rewarded for their perseverance.
sterling rahim They had endured a torrid first half, but did the job, blasting the hosts ahead two minutes before half-time. Havertz needed two tries, but he converted his second shot from the spot after hitting the post with his first as several Dortmund players invaded the penalty area.
Remarkably, this was the first time since December 27 that Chelsea had scored more than once in a game. It was precisely what they had to do to qualify, but encouraging performances from Joao Félix and Havertz in particular should help Chelsea banish what surely had, at least in part, become a psychological problem in front of goal.
3. The exhausted Dortmund needed more from Bellingham
Dortmund no longer had key offensive players injured Karim Adeyemi and Youssoufa Moukokoand porter gregor kobel when their preparations were further disrupted by a late arrival at Stamford Bridge, forcing kick-off to be delayed by 10 minutes.
To make matters worse, Julian Brandt he was forced to retire injured within the first five minutes, making the task of holding on to his first-leg lead become more difficult by almost minutes.
On those occasions, teams need their great players to step up, and while Jude Bellingham He is only 19 years old, has captained the team before and is a key player in Dortmund’s attack. Unfortunately for BVB, this was not his best night.
Bellingham was not to blame for Dortmund’s exit, but equally the midfielder was unable to influence play to the same extent that his proposed transfer fees skyrocketed ahead of a likely summer move to the Premier League or LaLiga.
He missed a glorious chance to tie Dortmund on aggregate just before the hour mark as sebastien hallerkick shot ben chilwell and fell towards him at 7 yards. Surprisingly, Bellingham opened wide.
Surely a brilliant career awaits such a prodigious player, but this was a night to forget.
Best and worst performers
Best: Kai Havertz, Chelsea
They played cleverly through the ball, had a brilliant play ruled out for offside and used a second chance to score from the penalty kick to seal a priceless victory.
Best: Mateo Kovacic, Chelsea
He won the midfield battle for Chelsea and set the tone for a largely authoritative team display.
Best: Ben Chilwell, Chelsea
A regular threat down the left flank and made a vital interception on the stroke of half-time.
Worst: Jude Bellingham, Borussia Dortmund
He missed a huge opportunity at the hour mark and was not at his influential prime.
Worst: Sebastien Haller, Borussia Dortmund
He struggled to assert himself, completing just 60% of his passes and managing just one shot.
Worst: Raphael Guerreiro, Borussia Dortmund
He lost six of his 10 duels and gave away the ball too many times.
Highlights and Highlights
It wasn’t the prettiest sequence, but Raheem Sterling put Chelsea on the board in the 43rd minute nonetheless.
The ball fell enticingly at Sterling’s feet, and he took a swing at it only to miss, but managed to connect with the follow-through.
RAHEEM STERLING LIFTS THE ROOF ON STAMFORD BRIDGE! 💥 pic.twitter.com/qB6i64wOD8
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 7, 2023
After a ball from Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell hit the arm of Dortmund’s Marius Wolf, a video review was held and the referee signaled the point.
Kai Havertz stepped up and missed, but due to an encroachment in the box the referee ordered a replay and Havertz did not make the same mistake twice, putting Chelsea up 2-0 for the game and up 2-1 on add-on.
Jude Bellingham has the opportunity to get Dortmund back into the tie and loses it. 😮 pic.twitter.com/hBewARJe4o
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 7, 2023
Although Chelsea were the best team of the night, it’s not that Borussia Dortmund didn’t have their chances.
Within five minutes of Havertz’s goal, Bellingham had a chance to pull one in for BVB, but put it just wide.
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After the game: What the coaches and players had to say
Chelsea manager Graham Potter on how he feels: “I’m not sure! There’s a lot of emotion at the end. It was tense at the end, but the guys played fantastic. I’m delighted they got the win and great for everyone here.”
Potter on the result after a difficult stretch: “There was a fantastic feeling in the dressing room. We’ve been through a difficult period and this competition means a lot to us. We wanted to progress and get to the last eight and it sets us up for the next few weeks.”
BVB manager Edin Terzic on the result: “I think in the first 10 minutes you can feel the power of not just Chelsea but the stadium. After that we got back into the game but they managed to score and we didn’t. We had a clear chance through Bellingham and we only had a couple of counterattacks to defend. We didn’t create much afterwards and that’s the problem.”
BVB midfielder Jude Bellingham on the penalty and then the replay of the penalty kick: “It’s a yard or two away. I’m not too sure. I don’t want to get in trouble. That in itself was disappointing, but the fact that they had a replay is a joke. For every penalty with such a slow run up there There’s going to be an invasion of people running for the box for a yard or so, but that’s the game. They made the decision and we had to live with it.”
Key statistics (provided by ESPN Stats & Information research)
Chelsea have reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the 12th time, tying Juventus for fifth place all-time.
Dortmund see their 10-match winning streak in all competitions snapped as they suffer their first defeat since before the World Cup (November 11).
Chelsea have won back-to-back games in all competitions for the first time since October 2022, a four-match winning streak that runs from October 1-16.
Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has converted all 15 of his career penalty kicks (11 of 11 at club level), excluding PK shootouts.
Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling now has 27 career UEFA Champions League goals, putting him three shy of Wayne Rooney’s record for most goals by an Englishman.
Giovanni Reyna came on as a substitute for Dortmund in the 5th minute due to Julian Brandt’s injury and led his team with two chances created and two attacking fouls in third.
Until next time
Chelsea: The Blues resume their Premier League campaign with a visit to Leicester City on Saturday, March 11 at 10am ET. The following week, Chelsea host Everton in a league game.
Borussia Dortmund: BVB once again turn their attention to the Bundesliga, where they will visit Schalke 04 on Saturday March 11 (stream live on ESPN+ at 12:30 p.m. ET). Dortmund then host Cologne in a league game on Saturday, March 18 (stream live on ESPN+ at 1:30 p.m. ET).