By scoring twice at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, Chelsea erased the deficit from the first leg and ensured their chances of the prestigious Champions League title.
Chelsea defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling in the first half and Kai Havertz in the second via a retaken penalty, CFC finally got the wheels turning relieving pressure on manager Graham Potter.
Due to Potter’s tactics, the west London club improved on their performance against Leeds and looked considerably better than BVB on the night. Despite the fact that Chelsea still has a lot to work on, a crucial Champions League victory will undoubtedly give Potter more time to make things right. The former Östersunds manager went with the 3-4-3 formation once again, and yet again brought home another win. A formation that gets the best out of everyone in the Chelsea squad.
3 Chelsea players who shined against Dortmund
The man who ran the attack. The German international certainly silenced his critics, including myself, with another UCL stellar performance. His hold up and link up were sublime and was unlucky to not score on more than one occasion. Not only was he good up top, but he also did his fair share of defensive contributions. With his 100% tackles won and seven possession won being his highlight stats. With an excellent effort that struck the post, and a disallowed goal in the first half, he could’ve well and truly walked home with the match ball. He did however deservedly get onto the scoresheet. Again displaying steely nerves under pressure, Havertz converted his penalty on the second attempt and placed it in the same area from which he had just hit the post.
It comes as no surprise that the wingback pairing of Reece James and Ben Chilwell both strive in a back five. The former Leicester fullback in particular looked phenomenal. Solid defensively, picking up an assist for Sterling, and winning a penalty. He absolutely ran that left flank for the blues. With Chelsea this year in the UEFA Champions League, Chilwell has produced more opportunities (13) than anybody else. And on top of that, the 26 year old had won 100% of his tackles, four duels won, and two clearances, including a goal saving clearance.
Bad performances, a high price tag, fair and undeserved criticism, three straight games out of the lineup—then he enters the lineup and performs brilliantly in our biggest game of the year. The Spanish fullback played as the left sided center back, a familiar position he played under Potter last season at Brighton.
Despite playing amongst the back three, he bombed forward, making it uncomfortable for the German side trying to hit a counter-attack. With his eight recoveries (most in the match), four interceptions, and eight passes into the final third as the LCB, he is back to his old self. The 24 year old was awarded UEFA Man of the Match for his hard work.
Remember those debates on who, between Chilwell and Cucurella will be the club’s starter at the start of the season? Better late than never, but we have our solution, both of them. Another player benefits from playing the 3-4-3. It comes as no surprise that Graham Potter will look to continue, adapting to this formation change as Cucurella will look to fight for a starting position.
He seems to have that position on lock during the UCL nights for the remainder of the season, due to Badiashile not being registered but will have to keep this form up to keep the Frenchman out of the starting lineup in the Premier League.