Despite spending a bizarre and crazy sum of £550m on players since Todd Boehly took over the ownership from long-time boss Roman Abramovich, Chelsea had not been scoring enough goals in any games they played in all competitions, let alone winning them. Yesterday’s 1-0 loss against German Bundesliga 1’s third-placed Borussia Dortmund was the Blues’ ninth in the past 20 matches in all competitions, and Graham Potter’s side had only managed five wins in the remaining 11 matches, drawing six other during the process. To make matters worse, the West London team had also failed to score more than one goal in any fixtures in the entire calendar year of 2023.
First Meeting Between Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea in European Competition
The German outfit and the five-time Premier League champion had not met each other in any European football games prior to this UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash, and both teams do not usually fare well when facing a team from the opposing country (Dortmund is winless against English teams in the past ten matches while Chelsea won only three out of 11 meetings versus German outfits). In terms of team news, Edin Terzić made four changes to his team that emerged victorious against Werder Bremen last weekend, whereas Graham Potter, who is sitting on a hot seat, decided to replace three players from the side that drew West Ham United few days ago, with Hakim Ziyech, Kalidou Koulibaly and Ben Chilwell all starting for the 47-year-old manager.
The home side’s Sébastien Haller had a chance to break the deadlock in the 27th minute, but his shot hit the side-netting on the right. Haller’s missed opportunity was almost punished by Chelsea four minutes later, when the out-wide Ziyech sent a delicious cross for João Félix to hit it over the bar from the penalty box. The game became more and more interesting by the end of the first half when the 23-year-old forward had another chance to score his second goal for his new club, but his close range effort came back off the bar. The strike came before Marius Wolf’s shot which was fired wide.
Adeyemi’s Moments of Sheer Brilliance
Chelsea’s unfortune in scoring continued in the second period of the game, when Reece James’s freekick was readied to be parry away by Gregor Kobel; The 23-year-old right-back’s effort eight minutes later was again saved by the Swiss goalkeeper. The subsequent corner finally led to the first goal of the evening, but it was the home side that broke away and scored. Dortmund’s Raphaël Guerreiro’s clearance found the feet of German forward Karim Adeyemi around his own half, before the latter ran all the way to the opposing goal and skipped past Chelsea’s £100m midfielder Enzo Fernández and £72m shot stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga to complete the wonder goal for the Black and Yellows. Adeyemi’s amazing solo effort proved the ultimate difference between both sides for the first leg of this Champions League Last 16 match-up.
10th in the league, lost the first leg in the UCL to Dortmund, can’t score, can’t win…
Welcome to Chelsea 🍕🧯 pic.twitter.com/ZczSnrQV5A
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 15, 2023
Potter: “We Were Dominant.”
Chelsea did play a great game and dictated most part of the match, managing 21 shots during the 90 minutes plus added-time, in which Graham Potter was pleased about. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that his side was without luck last night against the team from German Bundesliga 1. His statement read “I thought we were the dominant team in the second half. It is half-time in the tie, we have to regroup. You can see the supporters’ reaction, they were really positive, they can see the performance of the team, they gave us a fantastic reception. We are a team in progress, we know there are a lot of positive things there. You always need a bit of luck but you can’t wait around for luck, you have to keep working. The boys have been fantastic with their work but we are still suffering at the moment. But we will keep on working”.
As for Borussia Dortmund, its manager Edin Terzić expressed his satisfied mood over the win during the post-match conference, adding that “There were a lot of good things, too – the best of which is the result – but we know it’s not easy to play against Chelsea and we took a good step tonight”. Both teams will face each other again at Stamford Bridge for the second leg of this Champions League cup tie, with Dortmund now leading the aggregate score on a 1-0 margin.
Chelsea’s fellow Premier League teams, Manchester City and Arsenal competed for the first spot in the league table, read here to see which team won the match at the Emirates Stadium.