Chelsea 2-0 (2-1 agg) Borussia Dortmund: Sterling & Havertz book Blues’ spot in Champions League quarters
Chelsea clinched a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund to progress into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Graham Potter’s side overturned the first leg deficit by scoring two goals at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night to ensure they kept their European hopes alive this season.
Raheem Sterling put Chelsea ahead with the game’s opener with a strike from inside the box in the 44th minute to level the Round of 16 tie.
Kai Havertz then double the lead in the 53rd minute from the penalty spot, scoring on the re-take following encroachment after his initial penalty struck the post, seeing Chelsea seal the win and their spot in the last-eight draw.
Sterling had Chelsea’s first chance of the game inside two minutes. Kai Havertz played the England international in behind, but he delayed and delayed before the Dortmund defence came back to avert the danger. Luckily, the flag was raised for offside.
Dortmund suffered a blow early on when Julian Brandt limped off with a hamstring problem; Giovanni Reyna came on in his place.
Alexander Meyer, who was called upon to start in goal for the visitors, was called into action after six minutes to thwart Joao Felix, who was fed in by Sterling.
Kai Havertz was the next to have a chance but he also was unable to convert Chelsea’s bright start into a goal. His effort was hit off target, with Emre Can giving his fellow countryman a nudge to put him off inside the penalty box.
Dortmund rode the storm and started to take control of the affair in the capital. Wesley Fofana fouled Reyna on the edge of the box and Chelsea had Kepa Arrizabalaga to thank for it remaining goalless. He, fantastically, pushed away Marco Reus’ free-kick.
Chelsea thought they had the game’s opener just before the half hour mark. Reece James’ cross fell to Havertz just inside the box, but his strike cannoned off the inside of the post and rolled away to safety.
Havertz thought he had the opener when he found the top corner seven minutes before the interval, but again the flag was up.
However, Chelsea did get their first of the night one minute before half-time. The hall fell to Raheem Sterling who smashed it into the roof of the net to level the aggregate score.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty two minutes into the second half after Marius Wolf handled Chilwell’s cross. Havertz’s first effort crashed off the post, but it was re-taken after encroachment. The German made no mistake second time around, sending Meyer the wrong way to put Chelsea 2-1 ahead on aggregate.
Jude Bellingham had a huge chance to level the tie shortly after, but from close range he could only, somehow, put it wide of the goal.
Graham Potter made his first change of the evening in the 67th minute taking off Felix for Conor Gallagher to bolster the Blues’ midfield.
Gallagher thought he got Chelsea’s third with 14 minutes to go. Sterling tried to hold his run in behind and squared it to the substitute who coolly put in the net, but the flag was raised for offside again.
Potter made a double change with eight minutes to go to wind down the clock. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic replaced Mateo Kovacic and Sterling. Denis Zakaria was then brought on for Enzo Fernandez.
Chelsea managed to hold out for the 2-0 win in west London to secure their place in the quarter-finals.
Potter’s side had it all to do in the second leg but they passed the test with flying colours to head into the last eight.
The 47-year-old’s position at the club has been under pressure amid two ‘make or break’ game against Leeds and Dortmund, but he’s delivered when it’s mattered most.
Chelsea’s 2022/23 Champions League adventure continues and they will find out their opponents when the draw takes place on Friday 17th March.