Chelsea Step up and Turn Tie Around against Dortmund in UCL

London: Chelsea defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in a fiercely-contested and often feisty contest at Stamford Bridge in London to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) with a 2-1 aggregate win.

After a delayed kick-off and trailing from the first leg, Chelsea played the first half with plenty of urgency, as if keen to make up for lost time as well as the deficit. Raheem Sterling squandered an excellent chance, Joao Felix saw a close-range effort blocked and Ben Chilwell sliced another opportunity harmlessly wide.

Sterling was again involved in a counter attack which ended in Kai Havertz putting the ball in the back of the net with a stunning finish off the underside of the bar, but the former Liverpool and Manchester City winger had been offside in the build-up. At the other end, Kepa Arrizabalaga made an excellent save to keep out a Marco Reus freekick.

The home side did eventually level the tie two minutes before half-time, though. Chilwell fired in a low cross towards Sterling, who initially mishit it before salvaging the situation and smashing home, the Spanish MARCA newspaper reported.

Chelsea came out in the second half hoping the momentum was on their side and so it seemed when five minutes later they had a penalty after a VAR check. Chilwell’s cross had struck Marius Wolf’s hand by his side from close range, but it didn’t look intentional or that the German defender could have done much about it.

The referee deemed it was a penalty, however, and up stepped Kai Havertz. The German forward struck the post – poetic justice perhaps, but any such thoughts were short-lived as VAR – correctly this time – spotted an encroachment and a retake was ordered.

Confidently, Havertz took the ball again and went for the exact same type of penalty as before. But this time, he kept it just inside the post and gave Chelsea the lead in the tie.

The away side, backed a by a vocal travelling support, tried to get back into the tie, but Kepa Arrizabalaga was having a good night between the sticks.

At the other end, Chelsea thought they might have buried it when Conor Gallagher turned the ball into the net, but again an offside call on Sterling saw it chalked off.

The game ended with a frantic pace as Dortmund chased an away goal which could send the game to extra time, while Chelsea mounted several dangerous counters.

Deep in stoppage time, Dortmund had a couple of decent chances, as well as a plausible penalty shout, but the home side’s crowded box made it hard for them to get a real sight on goal.

After a disappointing run in the English Premier League (EPL), progression to the quarter-final, not only an achievement in its own right, will also be a huge breath of air for Chelsea and coach Graham Potter.

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