Chelsea 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (2-1 agg): Sterling and Havertz send Blues into last eight
Chelsea completed a turnaround at Stamford Bridge to seal their place in the Champions League quarter-finals after beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on Tuesday in the last-16 second leg, and 2-1 on aggregate.
After some near misses in the first half, Raheem Sterling gave the hosts the lead in the 43rd minute, before a retaken Kai Havertz penalty eight minutes into the second half sealed it.
Jude Bellingham missed an excellent opportunity to score for the visitors shortly after Havertz’s penalty as the Bundesliga side toiled in west London after losing Julian Brandt to what appeared to be a hamstring injury early on.
It was Dortmund’s first defeat since club competitions stopped prior to the World Cup, having won 10 in a row heading into this game, and was Chelsea’s second win in a week as Graham Potter looks to turn their fortunes around.
44 – Since his debut in the competition in September 2014, Raheem Sterling (44) has been involved in more Champions League goals than any other Englishman (27 goals, 17 assists), while only Wayne Rooney (30) has ever netted more in the competition amongst his compatriots. Lion. pic.twitter.com/3V1tpBaj4i
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 7, 2023
Havertz almost put the hosts ahead just before the half-hour mark but his shot towards the near post from the edge of the box struck the inside of the woodwork, with the ball going across the goal but not in.
It was Sterling who broke the deadlock before half-time though as Chelsea put the Germans under concerted pressure, with the former Manchester City man getting a big slice of luck as he fluffed his first effort from Ben Chilwell’s cross back into his own path, before slamming his second high into the roof of the net.
Chelsea had a penalty early in the second half after Marius Wolf was judged to have handled a Chilwell cross, with Havertz hitting the post with his first spot-kick, before being handed a second chance after a Dortmund player allegedly encroached, which he scored after sending Alexander Meyer the wrong way.
Bellingham skewed a shot wide under pressure from Kalidou Koulibaly as Dortmund failed to find a way back into it against a spirited Chelsea side.
What does it mean? Dortmund’s win streak ended by out-of-form Blues
The two teams could barely have come into this game in more different form, with Chelsea’s win against Leeds United on Saturday just their second in their last 12 outings (D4 L6), while Dortmund had won their last 10 in all competitions, including the first leg of this tie.
Potter’s men seemed to be buoyed by that victory against Leeds as they took the game to the visitors, having 11 shots to two in the first half, before shutting them down in the second.
Dortmund had 65 per cent of the ball in the second half but could not break down a resolute Chelsea backline.
Havertz offers Potter attacking hope
A lack of attacking potency was starting to define Potter’s tenure at Stamford Bridge, with Havertz almost becoming the face of their wastefulness.
The German did miss a penalty and was very lucky to get a second go at it, but his overall performance was impressive, with five shots, two key passes, and making the most passes in the opposition half (25) with an impressive accuracy of 88 per cent.
Bellingham has rare stumble
There are few higher rated players in world football than Bellingham right now, not least because he always seems to rise on the big occasion.
The 19-year-old showed his usual intent here but could not drag his team back into it, not hitting the target with any of his three shots and losing possession 19 times, with only Raphael Guerreiro (24) doing so more often for Dortmund.
Key Opta Facts
Chelsea have now progressed from five Champions League knockout stage ties after losing the first leg, the joint-most of any team in the competition’s history (Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid also five).
Borussia Dortmund have lost their last six away games against English sides in the Champions League, since beating Arsenal 2-1 in October 2013.
Chelsea scored more than once in match for the first time in 13 matches in all competitions, since beating Bournemouth 2-0 in the Premier League in December.
Sterling’s opener for Chelsea was his 20th home goal in the Champions League, the first English player to reach this particular milestone. Of all players to have scored at least 25 goals in the competition, only Robin van Persie (80%) and David Trezeguet (79%) have scored a higher share at home than Sterling (74% – 20/27).
Havertz’s penalty goal was Chelsea’s ninth consecutive successful penalty in the Champions League, since Jorginho hit the woodwork against Krasnodar in October 2020.
Chelsea boss Graham Potter has become just the second English manager to win five games in a single Champions League campaign, along with Bobby Robson at Newcastle in 2002-03.
Chelsea travel to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, while Dortmund return to their Bundesliga title challenge with a Revierderby at Schalke.
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