Graham Potter and Chelsea got a desperately needed victory against Borussia Dortmund to make it through to the Champions League quarter-finals and inject a bit of hope into their faltering campaign.
The Premier League side headed into the second leg needing to win after falling to a 1-0 defeat in Germany, with many feeling Potter’s time at the club would be up if they failed to turn things around.
Ultimately, they produced perhaps their best performance since he replaced Thomas Tuchel to knock out an in-form Dortmund side and secure safe passage to the next round.
After missing a number of chances, the hosts took the lead through Raheem Sterling just before the break and went 2-0 up just after it courtesy of a Kai Havertz penalty.
The visitors pushed to get the goal they needed to take the game to extra time after that but ultimately never came close to doing so, with Chelsea defending their lead comfortably.
“It was a massive performance. We had to dig deep. We took our chances. We felt as a team we could do it,” Sterling told BT Sport following the final whistle.
“There is a lot of emotion in the end. It was tense in the end but the boys played fantastic. I am delighted for them to get the win and great for everyone here,” Chelsea boss Potter added in his post-match interview.
“There was a fantastic feeling in the dressing room. We have been through a tough period and this competition means a lot for us. We wanted to progress and get into the last eight and it sets us up for the next few weeks.”
We’ve picked out 10 of the best stats to have come from the night’s action:
– This was the first time in 2023 that Chelsea scored two goals in a match. The last time they did so was on December 27th.
– Potter now has the second most wins (5) of any English manager, with only Sir Bobby Robson ahead of him (12) in the Champions League.
– Potter is only the second English manager, after Harry Redknapp, to win a knockout tie in the Champions League era.
– With his opener, Sterling became the first English player to score 20 goals at home in the Champions League. Wayne Rooney is the only Englishman to have more Champions League goals (30) to his name than Raheem Sterling (27).
Raheem Sterling levels the tie for Chelsea!! 🤩
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 7, 2023
– Chelsea registered 24 successful tackles on the night – more than twice as many (11) as the visitors.
– Chelsea registered 2.0xG to the visitors 0.9xG. The two sides registered the same number of shots (13) and shots on target (4) but Chelsea evidently created the better chances.
– Since joining Chelsea in 2020, Havertz has scored more goals for the club in the Champions League knockout stages than any other player (4).
– Havertz’s penalty was his first-ever goal against Borussia Dortmund, with him failing to find the back of the net in his previous eight games against them.
– Kepa now has as many clean sheets for Chelsea as Thibaut Courtois, despite playing six matches fewer than the Belgian for the club.
– This was the first match of 2023 that Borussia Dortmund failed to win, with them claiming victory in the other 10. But the Bundesliga have won just one of their last nine matches against English opponents, the first-leg victory in this tie.