Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Chelsea: Karim Adeyemi strike sees Blues fall to defeat despite dominating performance
Chelsea lost 1-0 against Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their round-of-16 Champions League clash, with Karim Adeyemi scoring the only goal of the game at Signal Iduna Park.
Despite positive signs within the performance, the poor form continued for Graham Potter’s side with just one win in nine games.
Any real chances were few and far between for both sides in the opening exchanges of the game, although Chelsea did find the back of the net in the 16th minute.
Reece James whipped in a dangerous ball from a free-kick on the left side which was helped into the goal. However, the goal was immediately disallowed after a handball from Thiago Silva.
Despite the Blues captain being pushed into the action, he received a yellow card for his troubles and the game remained 0-0.
Some impressive play from the hosts in the following minutes reminded Potter’s side of the task at hand. Jude Bellingham was quickest to the second ball inside the Chelsea half and played an accurate pass through to Julian Brandt, who was eventually smothered by Ben Chilwell and the returning Kalidou Koulibaly.
The first big chance of the game fell to the visitors on 31 minutes after Joao Felix broke through the heart of Dortmund’s midfield. The Portuguese played the ball wide to Hakim Ziyech, who found a low-cross back towards the forward, but his shot was high and wide as he tried to find the top corner.
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Felix came close again seven minutes later as Chelsea continued to search for the opener. Some excellent hold-up play from Kai Havertz allowed the 23-year-old to pick up a dangerous position as Dortmund were stretched.
After receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Felix skipped past one defender before he was unable to keep his shot down, hitting the crossbar as he fell to the ground taking his shot under pressure from the man he originally took on.
Chelsea’s intent continued into the second half, personified by an excellent run by Reece James in the 53rd minute. He won a foul on the edge of Dortmund’s box and was the chosen man to take the resulting free-kick but was denied by Gregor Kobel.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was called into action minutes later, however, with a comfortable save from a long-range Brandt effort.
The pressure continued from Potter’s Blues, with James at the forefront after his bouncing volley was saved well by Kobel.
However, the resulting corner led to a sucker punch after Karim Adeyemi punished Chelsea on the counter-attack and opened the scoring.
The 21-year-old was first to the clearance and drove toward the wide-open danger area. He bypassed Enzo Fernandez – who was the last man back – with ease, before calmly taking the ball past Arrizabalaga and slotting the ball into the empty net.
Chelsea were close to finding an equaliser after 77 minutes when a low cross found Koulibaly, who popped up inside the box. He struck a low, powerful strike that was initially saved but seemed to be rolling over the line before Emre Can cleared the ball at the last moment.
Six minutes later and it was another dangerous chance for The Blues when Fernandez found Felix in a pocket on the edge of the box, but his shot was tame and down the middle of the goal.
It seemed to be all but done before a last-minute strike from the edge of the box by Fernandez looked destined for the top corner, but Kobel clawed the ball wide of the goal with an excellent save before the final whistle blew.
The Blues are still well in the tie, with the return leg at Stamford Bridge coming next month, but Potter’s problems to help gel this team are continuing to show.