Graham Potter enjoyed a “fantastic evening” as his Chelsea side overcame a first-leg deficit to eliminate Borussia Dortmund from the Champions League.
Heading into the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea needed to overturn their loss in Germany. The Blues did exactly this on Tuesday night, defeating their Bundesliga opposition 2-0 to take a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring with a thumping finish toward the end of the first half. Then, Kai Havertz earned a reprieve from VAR to convert from the penalty spot. Moments before, he had hit the post with a spot-kick.
However, Dortmund players’ encroachment saw the German international receive a retake, which he duly dispatched.
Advancing to the last eight was a welcome boost to an under-pressure manager.
Graham Potter reacts to “special” Champions League knockout win
Speaking in a post-match presser, Graham Potter labelled the Champions League night as one of the best of his career.
“A fantastic atmosphere, a fantastic evening – the players and supporters were tremendous,” said the Chelsea boss, via The Guardian. “But they had to be against a team that was doing so well. I think over the two legs we deserved to go through. It was a special night.”
This vital win in Europe comes after a rough patch for this revamped Chelsea side. Prior to this UCL victory, the Blues had just one win in their last seven games. But, following Tuesday night’s exploits, Potter will hope that beating Dortmund is a turning point in his team’s season.
“We’ve had a tough period,” he added. “We had to respond against Leeds, we played a good game away at Dortmund but lost. Then we had a poor half against Southampton.
“Everyone had to suffer, the players have had to stick together and find a way through. I think they’ve done that in an incredible way.”
Despite reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League, pressure still rests on the shoulders of Graham Potter. For now, though, the Blues boss still appears to have the support of the dressing room.
Kai Havertz defends under-fire Chelsea manager
One of Potter’s goal-scorers on the night, Kai Havertz, threw his support behind his coach. Speaking to BeIN SPORTS after the game, the forward shared his thoughts on Graham Potter.
“Of course, we know that the pressure is coming at him,” said Havertz. “But you can see that he is a big manager because, in the media, I can’t believe how many people have to talk about him.
“And I don’t know. We have hundreds of coaches in England, you know, they think they know better than him. But in the changing room, we know that he is a big personality, a big manager for us and he helps us all a lot.
“So, we are 100% behind him. Even though people maybe don’t see it, I think today everyone saw that he’s a big manager.”
Havertz and Chelsea must wait until the draw on 17 March before finding out their opponent in the next round.
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