At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea overcame Borussia Dortmund with a 2-0 triumph (2-1 on the tie), clinging to the lifeline of a season that, despite all the millions invested, has not had the expected sporting return.
Forced to score two goals – something that hadn’t happened since December 27, when they beat Bournemouth –, the first prerequisite to avoid extra time, Chelsea tried to force an entry, immediately assaulting Borussia Dortmund’s defense.
João Félix led the initiative, an effort betrayed by the sudden collective disorientation, well illustrated by the successive failed actions of Kovacic, which the Germans thanked, taking the opportunity to take control, circle the ball and deliver the first shot with a goal seal. Marco Reus (17′) came close to extending the lead in the tie to two goals, but Kepa Arrizabalaga’s superb intervention stopped him.
Borussia who even started the Stamford Bridge meeting with a setback, forcing Edin Terzic to replace Julian Brandt, injured in the third minute. Borussia had already caused a delay of 10 minutes, justified by the traffic, but Chelsea wanted to make up for lost time, resurfacing after a shot by Havertz on the post.
The German striker fromblues” would even score (38′), putting a second ball at the angle after a great intervention by Meyer, but the goal was disallowed by Sterling’s irregular position. The English, who since 2013/14 (with PSG) had not been able to turn around a tie, were again in a position to hold the reins.
Koulibaly still delayed the goal, missing incredibly (40′), four minutes before Sterling had opened the scoring with two strokes: after the initial mess, the former Manchester City man did not waste the rebound. With another 45 minutes to go, Chelsea came back determined to confirm the first goal, which they achieved with a penalty, punishing Wolf’s hand.
VAR intervened to help change the referee’s first impression (who had already let Havertz pass Emre Can in the first half), but Havertz aimed again at the post. He was worth the area violation, giving the German a second chance. Without trembling, Havertz scored for the same side, putting Chelsea ahead for the first time in the “eighth”.
Until the final whistle, Chelsea still had a handful of opportunities to avoid the suffering of the last moments, but ended up getting the victory and passage.