Chelsea’s win over BVB in the Champions League is their best since Graham Potter took charge. Can he keep it up?

Chelsea beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday to seal their Champions League quarter-finals and ease mounting pressure on head coach Graham Potter. Needing to overcome a 1–0 deficit from the first leg in Germany three weeks earlier, Chelsea made a bright start but had to wait until Raheem Sterling’s 43rd-minute strike to break the deadlock.

Kai Havertz converted a penalty in the second attempt in the 53rd minute to seal a 2–1 aggregate win. The spot kick was awarded after VAR official Poul Van Boekel sent referee Danny McKell to the monitors to review a handball by Marius Wolff. Havertz’s first effort hit the post, but VAR revealed encroachments in the box by several Dortmund players, and Havertz slotted home the replay.

Christian Pulisic made his first appearance for Chelsea since 5 January as a late substitute, and Chelsea secured a valuable victory that saw them reach the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition for the second consecutive season. Looks for

Swift response

1. Potter enjoys best night since becoming Chelsea boss

Chelsea may have beaten Leeds United by a solitary unanswered goal last weekend, but Potter was still under significant pressure ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Borussia Dortmund.

The massive investment recently poured into the club by the ownership – around £600m all told – demands a better immediate return than the Blues have managed of late. An early Champions League exit would have given Potter’s critics credence to argue that the task may be too big for the 47-year-old to handle.

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– Read on ESPN+: Love teams’ top-four chances ranking

Potter was notably more animated in this match on the touchline, regularly trying to rally the crowd and reacting to referee’s decisions with more enthusiasm than usual.

Perhaps the most telling moment came when Havertz tried to convert his 53rd-minute penalty at the second attempt. The potter sat on his seat and could not see. It may have been tough at times, but this surely has to be Potter’s best night in charge since succeeding Thomas Tuchel in September.

Next month’s Champions League quarter-finals would likely give Potter a solid finish, pointing to a continuation of the domestic struggle. But he will be hoping that back-to-back wins for the first time since October prove to be the long-awaited turning point.

2. Has Chelsea found her shooting boots?

The lack of goals has been Chelsea’s biggest problem under Potter. It threatened to be another extremely disappointing evening, as he created and then repeatedly rejected a series of chances, with Havertz hitting the post, or when the ball was flagged offside with a spectacular finish in the net. was to be picked up.

But this time Chelsea were rewarded for their persistence.

Raheem Sterling had put in a flamboyant first half but stuck to his task and fired the home side two minutes before the break. Havertz needed two attempts, but converted his second spot kick after hitting the post due to the encroachment of several Dortmund players in the penalty area.

Remarkably, it was the first time since 27 December that Chelsea had scored more than once in a game. That’s exactly what they had to do to qualify, but encouraging performances from Joao Felix and Havertz in particular should help Chelsea overcome, at least in part, a psychological issue in front of goal.

3. Dortmund needed more, relegated from Bellingham

Dortmund were already without injured key attacking players Karim Adeyemi and Youssef Moukoko, and goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, when their preparations were disrupted by a late arrival at Stamford Bridge, which delayed kick-off by 10 minutes.

To make matters worse, Julian Brandt was forced to retire injured within the first five minutes, and so the task of maintaining their first leg advantage became increasingly difficult by the minute.

On such occasions, teams need their big players to step up, and although Jude Bellingham is just 19 years old, he has captained the first team and is a key player in Dortmund’s attack. Unfortunately for BVB, it was not her best night.

Bellingham was not to blame for Dortmund’s exit, but equally the midfielder has been unable to impact games to the same extent, which has seen his proposed transfer fees skyrocket ahead of a possible summer move to the Premier League or LaLiga .

He missed a great chance to draw Dortmund level just before the hour mark as Sebastian Haller’s shot hit Ben Chilwell and fell 7 yards out. Remarkably, Bellingham kicked it wide.

An illustrious career surely awaits such a prodigiously talented player, but it was a night to forget.

best and worst performers

Best: Kai Havertz, Chelsea

Linked up to the game intelligently, saw a brilliant effort ruled out for offside and took advantage of a second chance to score from the spot to seal an invaluable victory.

Best: Mateo Kovacic, Chelsea

Won the midfield battle for Chelsea and set the tone for a massive official collective performance.

Best: Ben Chilwell, Chelsea

A regular threat down the left flank and made a crucial interception on the stroke of half-time.

Worst: Jude Bellingham, Borussia Dortmund

Missed a big chance on the hour mark and was not at his impressive best.

Worst: Sebastian Haller, Borussia Dortmund

Struggled to impose himself, completing only 60% of his passes and managing only one shot.

Worst: Rafael Guerrero, Borussia Dortmund

Lost six of their 10 matches and threw the ball away often.

Highlights and Notable Moments

It wasn’t the prettiest sequence, but Raheem Sterling got Chelsea on the board in the 43rd minute nonetheless.

The ball fell magically at Sterling’s feet, and he took a swing at it only to miss, but he managed to connect with the follow-up.

After a ball from Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell hit Dortmund’s Marius Wolf on the arm, a video review began and the referee pointed to the spot.

Kai Havertz stepped up and missed, but due to encroachment in the box, the referee ordered a re-take, and Havertz did not make the same mistake twice, giving Chelsea the match at 2–0 and 2–1. Forwarded. gross.

Although Chelsea were the better side on the night, it is not that Borussia Dortmund didn’t have chances.

Within five minutes of Havertz’s goal, Bellingham had a chance to pull one back for BVB but put it just wide.

– As it happened: ESPN’s UCL live blog replays

What did the manager and players say after the match

How Chelsea manager Graham Potter is feeling: “I’m not sure! There’s a lot of emotion at the end. It was tense at the end but the boys played brilliantly. I’m so happy to get the win for them and for everyone here.”

Potter on the result after a rough stretch: “There was a great feeling in the dressing room. We’ve been through tough times and this competition means a lot to us. We wanted to progress and reach the last eight and it prepares us for the next few weeks.”

BVB manager Edin Terzic on the result: “I think the first 10 minutes you could feel the power not only from Chelsea but also from the stadium. After that, we came back in the game but they managed to score and we didn’t. We had Bellingham and only K Had a clear chance through and did some counter-attacks to defend. We didn’t score much afterwards and that’s the problem.”

BVB midfielder Jude Bellingham on the penalty call, and then the penalty kick retake: “It’s a yard or two off. I’m not too sure. I don’t want to get into trouble. It was disappointing in itself, but the fact that he retook it is a joke. With such a slow run every There’s going to be encroachment by guys running into the box from a yard or two up for the penalty, but that’s the game. They’ve made the decision and we’ve got to live with it.

Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Information Research)

  • Chelsea have reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the 12th time, drawing Juventus for the fifth time ever.

  • Dortmund look to snap their 10-game winning streak in all competitions as they suffer their first defeat ahead of the World Cup (11 November).

  • Chelsea have won back-to-back games in all competitions for the first time since October 2022, a four-game winning streak from October 1-16.

  • Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has converted all 15 of his career penalty kicks (11-11 at the club level), excluding shootout PKs.

  • Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling now has 27 career UEFA Champions League goals, which makes him three shy of Wayne Rooney’s record for most by an Englishman.

  • Giovanni Reyna entered as a substitute for the injured Julian Brandt in the fifth minute for Dortmund and led his team with two chances and earned two fouls in the attacking third.


Chelsea: The Blues resume their Premier League campaign with a trip to Leicester City on Saturday, March 11 at 10PM ET. The following week, Chelsea hosted Everton in league play.

Borussia Dortmund: BVB turn their attention back to the Bundesliga, where they visit Schalke 04 on Saturday, March 11 (Live stream at 12:30PM ET on ESPN+). Then, Dortmund hosts Cologne in league play on Saturday, March 18 (stream live at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+).

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