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  • By Alessandro Schiavone at Signal Iduna Park

Chelsea beaten but not defeated as Dortmund's Adeyemi makes them pay for poor finishing in 1-0 loss

By Alessandro Schiavone from SIGNAL Iduna Park

UEFA Champions League

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Chelsea

Karim Adeyemi’s impressive solo effort tipped the balance in Borussia Dortmund’s favour as Chelsea were beaten 1-0 at SIGNAL Iduna Park in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 round.

In a game between two of Thomas Tuchel’s sides there were no doubts over who needs him more right now as Graham Potter is increasingly becoming persona non grata among the frustrated Chelsea supporters.

Languishing in 10th in the Premier League and at serious risk of waving goodbye to this year’s Champions League prematurely, patience is wearing thin. And it takes a huge amount of optimism to expect results to pick up before it’s too late.

Yet there were some encouraging signs such as a commitment, a fighting spirit and willingness to help each other. But if you don’t score goals you can't win football games. With Kai Havertz being anything but a finisher and bad luck standing between Joao Felix and his second Chelsea goal, the Blues lacked someone who could step up to the plate and finish those chances off. Over the course of the 90 minutes they were the superior side but that’s of little consolation if in the end you lose.

Despite being buoyed up by their raucuous Gelbe Wand, Dortmund failed to score in the first 45 minutes. Sebastien Haller hit the side netting and Marius Wolf angled his shot a fraction too much moments later. Chelsea also missed a few. Not through Thiago Silva though whose Hand of God attempt was rightly ruled out.

Expensive loan signing Felix wasted Ziyech’s superb footwork and cutback by blasting his shot over even though he had time to control and place it. Similarly, Adeyemi failed to hit the target minutes later.

An end-to-end game for those who hadn’t realised yet, there was no real dominant team in the first 45 minutes. Both sides wasted what they created, hence neither deserved to be trailing heading for the dressing room. Yet it’s the West Londoners who missed the best opportunity before tea time when Felix saw his effort come off the crossbar.

A passenger throughout, the erratic Mikhailo Mudryk was even less of a threat after the restart. If in the opening stages he showed glimpses of his talent, he was nowhere to be seen as Potter’s men chased a goal in the second part of the game. Eden Hazard was on a different level when he joined from Lille 11 years ago and not sure whether the Ukrainian will ever get close to the Belgian.

In the second-half Chelsea were on top and could have taken the lead through the outstanding Reece James twice. But Gregor Kobel first beat his free-kick away before he pulled off a strong fingertip save to deny the former Wigan loanee.

Unable to buy a goal, Chelsea had to watch as Adeyemi’s Maradona-esque solo effort put Die Schwarzgelben into a surprising lead.

Chelsea’s attempts to take a draw back to London by peppering Dortmund’s goal went to waste due to their poor finishing and Kobel’s great reflex saves.

And the outstanding Swiss international made sure of the win when he was equal to a Joao Felix effort seven minutes from time followed by another spectacular flying save to deny World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez deep into injury-time. In between Can had cleared a parried Kalidou Koulibaly shot off the line.

Despite the disappointing defeat, Chelsea’s attitude couldn’t be faulted and they will surely fancy their chances in the return leg at Stamford Bridge. But for that to happen they must score goals, something they can’t take for granted these days.


1 Kobel- 4 Schlotterbeck- 6 Ozcan-9 Haller- 13 Guerreiro- 17 Wolf- 19 Brandt-22 Bellingham- 23 Can- 25 Sule- 27 Adeyemi


1 Arrizabalaga- 5 Fernandez- 6 Thiago Silva- 11 Joao Felix- 12 Loftus-Cheek- 15 Mudryk- 21 Chilwell- 22 Ziyech- 24 James- 26 Koulibaly-29 Havertz



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