Resurgent Chelsea defeat Borussia Dortmund to reach Champions League quarterfinals
Blues overcome first leg deficit to reach last eight
English Premier League giants Chelsea booked their passage to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League after a 2-1 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund. The Blues secured qualification despite their first leg defeat in Germany.
Chelsea lost the first leg of the tie in Germany to a lone goal from Karim Adeyemi, who missed out on the tie in London through injury. The Blues secured a narrow win over Leeds United at the weekend to ease the pressure on manager Graham Potter, but they were up against a Borussia Dortmund side that had recorded ten wins on the bounce.
Chelsea started the brighter of both sides with the movements of Joao Felix, Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling causing problems, but as has become the theme of their performances, they failed to test the Dortmund goalkeeper.
The visitors forced the first save from either goalkeeper as Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga had to pull off an impressive save to keep a Marco Reus free-kick from nestling in the back of the net.
The Blues woke up shortly after and Havertz saw an effort come back off the foot of the post before rolling across the face of goal. The German forward also scored a superb goal which was ruled out for an offside in the build up.
With half-time nearing, the home side finally made their advantage count in the 43rd minute. Good work on the flank from Havertz saw the ball reach Ben Chilwell, who crossed the ball into the box for Sterling. The former Manchester City man miskicked the ball with his first attempt before leathering the ball past the goalkeeper after it dropped kindly for him.
Three minutes into the second half, Chelsea were awarded a penalty by the VAR after a cross from Chilwell came off the hand of Marius Wolf. Havertz stepped up and hit the post from 12 yards out before the referee ordered that the penalty be retaken for an encroachment. The German forward made no mistake this time around, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Chelsea needed Kepa to make another impressive save to prevent Wolf from scoring what would have been an equaliser for Dortmund. Substitute Conor Gallagher also found the net for the Blues but an offside flag cut short his celebration.
The Blues held on for a morale-boosting win which puts them into the last eight of the competition alongside Benfica, who walloped Club Brugge 7-1 on aggregate. Chelsea have now won two consecutive games for the first time since October last year, and have ended Borussia Dortmund’s ten-game winning run.