Potter hails his Chelsea side after overcoming Borussia Dortmund

‘The boys played fantastic… we’ve been through a tough period and this competition means a lot for us’: Graham Potter hails his Chelsea players after their comeback win over Dortmund

  • Chelsea had only won once in 2023 prior to their weekend win over Leeds
  • They have now won twice in three days after beating Borussia Dortmund
  • Graham Potter is proud of his players for their response in recent days 

An emotional Graham Potter hailed his players for ending their slump with two big wins after they sealed their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.

On a stirring night at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea followed Saturday’s 1-0 league win over Leeds by overturning their first leg deficit against Borussia Dortmund with goals either side of half time, a thumping finish from Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz’s retaken penalty.

Both games were pivotal to the future of head coach Potter after a run of just two wins in 12 cranked up the pressure on Potter.

He said: ‘I’m not sure [how I’m feeling]! 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.

‘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.

Graham Potter was delighted after watching his Chelsea side overturn their first leg deficit to see off Borussia Dortmund

Raheem Sterling levelled the tie in the first half with a well-taken strike

Kai Havertz scored the goal to seal Chelsea’s spot in the Champions League quarter-finals

‘It is great for the boys, two wins, two clean sheets after a tough period. You get that in life and it is about how you respond and the players have been fantastic.’

Sterling put Chelsea deservedly ahead two minutes before half-time and they were awarded a penalty by referee Danny Makkelie following a VAR pitchside review with Marius Wolf adjudged to have handled Ben Chilwell’s cross.

Kai Havertz, Chelsea’s designated penalty taker following Jorginho’s departure, rolled his first effort against the post after a stuttered run up.

But he was handed a second chance following Dortmund encroachment and made no mistake with the retake to send Chelsea through and end Dortmund’s 10-game winning run in the process.

Potter said: ‘I couldn’t watch after the first one, I just sat down and listened to the crowd. I was delighted when I heard the roar. Not for me, taking penalties! I’m in awe of anyone that can.’

Havertz said: ‘I was a bit nervous [taking the second] but I scored. I tried to wait and look at the keeper and the second one was a bit easier.

‘Tonight was important, this is a big tournament and it’s the last trophy that we can win. We showed character and that we want to keep going.’

Sterling added: ‘It was a massive performance. We had to dig deep. We took our chances. We felt as a team we could do it.’

Dortmund manager Edin Terzic said: ‘Both teams deserved to go to the next round but Chelsea scored twice and we didn’t so we can’t complain.’

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