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Match Report | Chelsea books quarterfinals place after Champions League round of 16 turnaround

Goals on either side of the halftime interval from Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz sealed the Blues’ place in the last eight after reversing their 1-0 first leg defeat at Signal Iduna Park

On a night when Chelsea boss Graham Potter needed a massive pick-me-up during a season where the Blues have fallen spectacularly short of expectations on account of new ownership and huge amounts of money spent, the Premier League giants came up big on a night at Stamford Bridge in a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund to book passage into the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

The Germans suffered what could be a huge blow to their season as in-form German international Julian Brandt came off injured in the 4th minute with what looked like a hamstring problem, with United States international Gio Reyna replacing him.

Chelsea has been knocking on the door early and was very much on the front foot right after kickoff through both Kalidou Koulbaly (who headed wide from a corner in the 8th minute) and Kai Havertz, who had gotten a step on the last defender from a ball played over the top but could only put his effort into the side netting after seemingly being bolled over by Emre Can.

Dortmund had their first real chance in the 17th minute from a Marco Reus free-kick from inside twenty-five yards that tested Kepa, but the Spanish international did well to palm away the well-struck effort from the veteran forward.

Havertz once again popped up for Chelsea when his half-volley from just inside the area hit the inside of Alexander Meyer’s near post only to bounce parallel to the goal line without crossing it. But the Blues continued to show themselves capable of getting a result on the night despite the result in the first leg.

The Blues finally found the breakthrough with just two minutes of normal time remaining through Raheem Sterling after Dortmund was once again left at sixes and sevens at the back before the England international regained control after his horrendous first effort after Ben Chilwell’s cutback before slamming the opener past a helpless Meyer.

Potter’s men had their position considerably improved after Marius Wolf was judged to have committed a handball in the box just after the restart with the Blues correctly awarded a penalty kick, which originally was missed by Havertz who could only rattle Meyer’s left post. It was then re-assessed by VAR that two Dortmund players had strayed into the box before the German’s effort, with the former Bayer Leverkusen stepping up to convert his second bite at the apple.

It was the first time this calendar year that Chelsea had scored twice in a match, and perhaps there was no better night to properly get back among the goals for the Premier League giants, but Dortmund nearly came knocking back through Jude Bellingham minutes later only for his header to bounce harmlessly wide where he should have otherwise tested Kepa to his limits.

The Spaniard was tested in the 65th minute by Marius Wolf after the right-back made an underlapping run into the box before unleashing a low drive aimed at the far post, but Kepa outstretched to parry away while keeping the Blues’ one-goal cushion intact.

Dortmund did little else for the rest of the second half apart from threaten from a handful of set-piece situations, but hardly unsettled Chelsea enough to craft any credible chances after Bellingham’s missed header. As for the Blues, many will be hoping this result will help the club turn the corner on the pitch for the remainder of the season if they have any ambitions of securing European football in 2023-24.

Chelsea Player Ratings

  • GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga - 7
  • RCB: Wesley Fofana - 7
  • CB: Kalidou Koulibaly - 7
  • LCB: Marc Cucurella - 6.5
  • RWB: Reece James - 7.5
  • LWB: Ben Chilwell - 7
  • CM: Enzo Fernández - 7
  • CM: Mateo Kovačić - 7.5
  • RAM: Raheem Sterling - 7.5
  • LAM: João Félix - 7
  • CF: Kai Havertz - 8
  • Sub: Conor Gallagher - 6
  • Sub: Christian Pulisic - 6
  • Sub: Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 6
  • Sub: Denis Zakaria - 6

Borussia Dortmund Player Ratings

  • GK: Alexander Meyer - 6.5
  • RB: Marius Wolf - 6.5
  • CB: Niklas Süle - 5
  • CB: Nico Schlotterbeck - 6
  • LB: Raphaël Guerreiro - 6.5
  • DM: Emre Can - 7
  • CM: Jude Bellingham - 7.5
  • CM: Salih Özcan - 6.5
  • RW: Julian Brandt - N/A
  • LW: Marco Reus - 6
  • CF: Sébastien Haller - 6
  • Sub: Gio Reyna - 7
  • Sub: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens - 6
  • Sub: Donyell Malen - 6

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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