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‘Delivers in the big moments’ – Graham Potter backs ‘fantastic’ Chelsea forward after decisive Champions League goal



(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Kai Havertz has been lavished with praise by Chelsea head coach Graham Potter after netting the tie-deciding goal against Borussia Dortmund to send them into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The 23-year-old scored his penalty at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night to make it 2-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate, ensuring Chelsea overturned the Round of 16 tie to progress into the last-eight.

It wasn’t as straightforward for Havertz as he would have initially hoped. His first effort came back off of the post but he was given another opportunity after encroachment by the visitors. Havertz made no mistake the second time around and slotted home eight minutes into the second half to deliver another big moment for Chelsea.

Havertz has delivered in Europe for Chelsea previously on the biggest of stages. Wind back to 2021 and he was the one rounding Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson to tap into an empty net to secure the Blues their second Champions League triumph.

Havertz has made 33 appearances for Chelsea this season, scoring seven goals and providing one assist, but for his £72 million price-tag many would like to see more from the German international, whose future in west London is also uncertain this summer.

It’s become a common theme at Chelsea for the goals to be shared around the attack and team in recent years. They have struggled to find the bagsman who will deliver them 20-plus goals a season.

But after producing another moment when it mattered, Potter hailed Havertz for his all-round contribution to the side regardless of where he is asked to play and what he is asked to do.

Ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Leicester City, Potter admitted: “I have no doubts about Kai, he’s a top player, delivers in the big moments, gives his best for the team all of the time, runs himself into the ground, he probably benefited from playing a slightly different position (against Borussia Dortmund).

“But whatever you ask him to do he does his best and so that’s a great starting point.

“He’s still young, he’s got all of the attributes to be a top player, score goals, assists, and help the team.

“I think he can be an all-round fantastic attacking player.”

Havertz will be hoping his tie-winning goal in midweek will see him retain his place in the attack. With Raheem Sterling a major doubt due to a tight hamstring, Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk will fancy their chances of starting alongside the German against the Foxes.

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