Chelsea 2-0 Borussia Dortmund: Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz send Blues into Champions League quarter-finals
On a run of three wins in 16 matches and trailing 1-0 after the first leg in Germany, the pressure was well and truly on for the Blues to produce a performance that turned the tie and potentially their season around.
What this means for the rest of the campaign and Potter’s time in west London remains to be seen, but Raheem Sterling levelled the tie up before Kai Havertz, at the second time of asking, scored from the penalty spot to end Dortmund’s ten-match winning run and send Chelsea through to the last-eight of the competition they won two years ago.
The Dortmund fans helped create a brilliant atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, though the opening minutes were played in a yellow fog as a result of smoke left off from the away end.
When visibility improved, it was clear Chelsea had started well. Joao Felix had an effort saved after a bright run, before Kai Havertz blazed an effort high and wide after he was played in behind.
Dortmund grew into the match and began to dominate possession, going close themselves as Marco Reus’ free-kick was clawed away by Kepa Arrizabalaga, but the Blues took back control, only to produce a masterclass in how not to score.
Havertz fired an effort off the inside of the post, before finding the top corner only to see the offside flag raised as he wheeled away in celebration. Ben Chilwell sliced an effort badly wide, while Kalidou Koulibaly somehow managed to send his volley backwards when faced with an open goal from a few yards out.
Sterling looked to have added another miss to the collection as he missed his kick in the box. That effort was so badly timed that the ball was still there for him and at the second time of asking, he lashed a strike into the roof of the net.
A night of second chances continued after the break, as Chelsea were awarded a penalty after a long VAR review, with Marius Wolf deemed to have handled Chilwell’s cross into the box.
Kai Havertz strolled up and saw his spot-kick bounced back off the post, but he was given a mulligan after a very generous encroachment decision. He went with the same technique and for the same corner, but the outcome was a significantly different one as he found the back of the net.
The Blues were content to sit back in their shape from that point onwards, though still carried the occasional threat on the break. They had the ball in the net again when Sterling was played through and squared it to leave Gallagher with a tap-in, but the offside flag was raised and VAR confirmed the forward was all of a toe beyond the last defender.
It mattered not though, as Dortmund proved unable to find a way through the mass of blue shirts. Chelsea, and Potter, battle on.