- Borussia Dortmund hosted Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League at the Signal Iduna Park
- The clash was the first of the two legs of the UEFA Champions League round-of-16
- Karim Adeyemi scored the lone goal of the match to give Dortmund the advantage ahead of the second-leg
Chelsea were punished for a wasteful showing at Borussia Dortmund after Karim Adeyemi’s second-half strike secured a slender 1-0 lead in the UEFA Champions League last 16.
Despite leaving Signal Iduna Park regretting wasted opportunities on Wednesday, Graham Potter’s team will have the home edge in the rematch at Stamford Bridge on March 7.
In a thrilling match in Germany, Joao Felix missed two excellent chances in the first half. Then, Adeyemi’s goal in the 63rd minute, which came after a merciless counterattack, furthered Chelsea’s misery.
The Blues still have a chance to draw the matchup, but Potter and his team cannot afford another goal-scoring battle in west London.
Chelsea captain for the night Thiago Silva, had the ball in the back of the net after 16 minutes, only to see the goal ruled out and the centre-back cautioned for a seemingly intentional handball past Gregor Kobel.
Chances continued to flow in a frenetic first half as Marius Wolf sliced a golden opportunity wide and Sebastien Haller fired narrowly off target from a presentable opening.
Joao Felix wastefully blazed over before hitting the crossbar after a driving run, while Wolf arrowed just wide with Kepa Arrizabalaga scrambling.
Reece James’ precise free-kick was stopped by Kobel with skill after the break, and shortly after, the England right-bouncy back’s volley was stopped by the Dortmund goalkeeper.
When Dortmund made a break from the ensuing corner, Adeyemi was ruthless. He was let free by Raphael Guerreiro, sprinted past Enzo Fernandez, and then rounded Kepa to score.
Following Kalidou Koulibaly’s attempt to slip under Kobel, Emre Can cleared the ball off the line. Kobel then preserved Dortmund’s slim lead with a superb save from Fernandez in the waning seconds.
Dortmund takes the advantage
Although their first such success since March 2016 – against Tottenham – came with a certain amount of luck, Dortmund overcame an English team in European competition for the first time in 11 attempts.
After Joao Felix’s two misses cost the Blues on the road, Potter will be left wondering what his Chelsea team needs to do to defeat Kobel in the rematch.
When facing an early European departure, Potter’s team cannot count on having as many opportunities as they did against Dortmund. A repeat effort at home might be enough to defeat Dortmund.
Kai Havertz continues Dortmund’s drought
Potter has frequently relied on Kai Havertz to set the tone for Chelsea’s attack, but the German international met a familiar end against BVB.
The forward was able to generate four opportunities and take four shots, but he has now gone eight games against Dortmund without scoring, which is the most of any opponent in his club career. He has lost each of his five away contests with Dortmund.
On Saturday, Chelsea will face Southampton in their return to Premier League play, while Dortmund will visit Hertha Berlin the following day in the Bundesliga.
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