Chelsea advance to the Champions League quarter-finals
With their utmost effort, Chelsea remarkably turned the tide against Dortmund to secure a spot in the round of 16 of the Champions League.
In the second leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League, Chelsea hosted Dortmund at Stamford Bridge, where “The Blues” had to win if they wanted to come back from their 0-1 loss in the first leg.
Entering the game, Graham Potter’s team showed a clear determination to win by attacking right from the early minutes and creating some dangerous chances. On the other hand, Dortmund, the representative from Germany, quickly regained control of the game.
However, once again, Chelsea launched a relentless attack, wasting a series of clear-cut chances. As the first half drew to a close, Raheem Sterling received a pass and scored two consecutive shots, sending the ball straight into the net and helping Chelsea take the lead 1-0 in the first half.
Shortly after the start of the second half, Chelsea was awarded a penalty after Marius Wolf touched the ball with his hand in the penalty area. Kai Havertz hit the post with the penalty kick, but the referee awarded Chelsea another penalty as the goalkeeper Mayer committed an offense while blocking the penalty kick. In the second attempt, the German striker did not make any mistakes, raising the score to 2-0 for the home team.
After leading by two goals, Chelsea played defensively but Dortmund couldn’t find a way past Kepa in goal. The score remained 2-0 until the end of the game, and Chelsea won 2-1 on aggregate to progress to the quarter-finals.
The victory against Dortmund not only secured the future of manager Graham Potter but also revived Chelsea’s hopes of winning a trophy this season, after a disappointing run in domestic competitions (10th in the Premier League, early exits from FA Cup and League Cup).
Although Chelsea convincingly beat Dortmund, manager Potter acknowledged that it was not an easy game: “We’ve gone through a very difficult period, not just this game. The team faced many challenges against Leeds, and we played well but lost to Dortmund in the first leg away from home. But the team remained united and Chelsea overcame adversity successfully.
“The fans are always fair to the team. When Chelsea doesn’t perform as expected, they are hurt. They have the right to express their pain in many different ways. But the fans always support us.”
On the day Chelsea beat Dortmund, Potter also made history. According to Opta, he became the second English manager in history to win 5 Champions League games in a single season. The first was Bobby Robson at Newcastle in 2002/03.
Also according to Opta, Chelsea became the most resilient team in the round of 16 of the Champions League. They have lost 5 times in the first leg of the round of 16 but have overturned the deficit in the second leg. Barcelona, Juventus, and Real Madrid have similar records to “The Blues”.
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