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Home » Chelsea Advance to Champions League Quarterfinals After Defeating Borussia Dortmund

Chelsea Advance to Champions League Quarterfinals After Defeating Borussia Dortmund

08 March 2023, Wednesday
[caption id="attachment_2067" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 - Second Leg - Chelsea v Borussia Dortmund - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - March 7, 2023 Chelsea's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates REUTERS/Hannah Mckay[/caption]
Chelsea progressed to the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday night after overturning a first-leg deficit with a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for the hosts just before half-time with a stunning volley from the top of the 6-yard box, and Kai Havertz then doubled the lead from the penalty spot early in the second period to secure victory for Graham Potter's struggling Chelsea.

Chelsea, who went into the game trailing 1-0 after the first leg and after failing to score in their last four matches, had multiple opportunities to open the scoring in the first half, with Havertz hitting the post before being flagged for offside soon after. Portuguese loanee Joao Felix and defender Kalidou Koulibaly also had good chances, however, it was not until the 43rd minute that Ben Chilwell crossed the ball into the penalty area and found Sterling to score a close-range volley. After the match, Sterling commented, “It was a massive performance. We had to dig deep and take our chances, and we felt as a team that we could do it. I had a bit of a mis-kick with the first touch, but it landed perfectly and that allowed us to build on that performance.”

Giovanni Reyna, the United States international, replaced Julien Brandt shortly after the start of the first half on Tuesday, with Dortmund trailing Chelsea 1-0. Brandt had to be taken off after feeling discomfort in his hamstring, having been a key factor in Dortmund’s ten-match unbeaten run this season, having scored nine goals in total.

Havertz needed a second attempt to double Chelsea's lead, but he eventually succeeded with a penalty kick. After his first try smacked off the post, the referee called for encroachment and the Germany international made his second shot count to put the Blues up 2-0 on the night.

When Manchester City's Sterling found substitute Gallagher free on goal in the 75th minute, it appeared Chelsea's lead was in jeopardy but the linesman's offside flag ensured the aggregate lead would remain in the Blues' favor.

Havertz reflected on his penalty miss, saying, "I don't know what I was thinking [when it hit the post], but the referee let me retake the penalty. I was a bit nervous, but I scored. I tried to wait and look at the keeper and the second one was a bit easier."

Potter couldn't contain his delight as his side secured their passage into the last 8 of the competition by holding off Man City, as Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek were brought on just after 80 minutes for Sterling and Kovacic. The hosts were greeted with cheers from the crowd as their win was sealed, and Potter joyfully punched the air and applauded them in return.

"The dressing room was ecstatic," Potter said. "We've been through some difficult times, but this competition is incredibly important to us and we're thrilled to be in the quarter-finals. It's a great platform for us to build upon for the upcoming weeks."

The ex-Brighton boss gave his approval to Kai Havertz for his successful penalty kick against Borussia Dortmund, admitting he was too anxious to watch.

"I wasn't monitoring it, but delighted when I heard the shriek," Potter stated. "Taking spot kicks isn't something I would do, so I'm in admiration of anyone [who does]."

Next up for Chelsea is a clash with Leicester City in the Premier League this Saturday, while Dortmund, who sit level on points with Bayern Munich atop the Bundesliga, are visiting Schalke.
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