Few would be surprised to see the second encounter between Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this season going quite similar to what we saw the Blues do in the first match. There was a lot of urgency in our game and players such as João Félix and Ben Chilwell were making great plays towards getting ourselves a goal. But luck was seemingly not on our side.
Nor was quality finishing, as the Blues insisted on shooting at the keeper instead of trying to avoid him in most of the chances they got. At the one time they did not do so via Kai Havertz with a beautiful shot from range, Raheem Sterling — who started the play — was offside and the goal was thus void.
Sterling himself would correct the record a few minutes later. Yet another great cross from Chilwell did not go unpunished this time around as the English winger, even fumbling possession on his first touch, had the chance to recompose himself in the box and shoot across the keeper to get us ahead in the scoreline and tied in the aggregate.
Chelsea insisted on getting a goal before the first half but were unable to add a second before the referee blew the whistle. They had to do so in the second half to avoid extra time, and they got it thanks to Dortmund invading the box during Kai Havertz’s missed penalty attempt. He would not blow his second chance, though!
Tiredness, tactics and/or substitutions invited Dortmund to our defensive third. Still Chelsea were the ones with the better chance to score via Conor Gallagher after Sterling found himself on a break with only the goalkeeper to beat. While the midfielder buried the chance in the back of the net, the goal was deemed offside since Sterling was offside by less than one-fourth of a foot.
Not a perfect performance, but what matters is the aggregate score. And we got that in our favour, fair and square, despite our misgivings.
- Starting on a 3-4-3 with Marc Cucurella in the backline, and Reece James and Ben Chilwell as wing-backs.
- Subs are Conor Gallagher for João Félix, Christian Pulisic for Raheem Sterling, Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Mateo Kovacic, and Denis Zakaria for Enzo Fernández.
- Still not convinced Félix is the second coming of Eden Hazard, as some were claiming after his debut with the Blues. But he does have his moments.
- Seeing Chelsea with urgency to score is nice but this is not what we lack under Graham Potter. Playing patterns need to be much improved if we are to justify holding him for longer than a season, no matter the results.
- By the way the sooner the head coach realises Enzo needs a better defensive partner in midfield, the better for him and the club.
- Kai Havertz needs a bath of coarse salt.
- Will we ever find a way out of the 3-4-3 to get proper wins?
- Nice to see you back, Pulisic!
- Next up: Leicester away in the Premier League.