Potter pleased with 'dominant' Chelsea but goal-scoring issues continue against Dortmund

Premier League club lose Champions League last 16 first leg 1-0 despite several chances to score

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Graham Potter said Chelsea have plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund after being the "dominant" team in Germany despite a 1-0 defeat on Wednesday.

Chelsea, who arrived in Dortmund in poor form with one win in their previous eight matches, controlled large parts of the game at Signal Iduna Park and led on several key attacking stats, producing eight shots on target to Dortmund's two – 21 to 14 shots overall – and having 10 corners to the hosts' five.

But the only stat that matters was once again missing for Chelsea as Karim Adeyemi scored a brilliant solo goal on the counter attack to hand Dortmund a slender lead ahead of the return fixture at Stamford Bridge.

"Overall, we were pleased with the performance for big parts of the game," Chelsea manager Potter said. "It is complicated away from home in the Champions League, in a hostile environment against a team that's in a good moment."

Joao Felix, on loan from Atletico Madrid, was once again excellent for the Blues and had two good chances to score, missing the target with his first effort and striking the post with his second.

For all their eye-catching attacking movement, it took until nearly an hour into the match before Chelsea had a shot on target, but they then had a further seven, Reece James forcing a couple of good saves from Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, and Kalidou Koulibaly having a deflected shot cleared off the line.

Enzo Fernandez, the most expensive of the January recruits, then looked to have earned Chelsea a deserved draw but his top-corner bound effort was tipped away by Kobel in injury time.

Dortmund v Chelsea player ratings

Chelsea have scored just four goals in nine games this year and only once have scored twice or more in the same game since the start of November.

"It was an even first half, we managed the game quite well with good opportunities to counter-attack and we hit the bar," Potter said. "Then in the second half apart from the one decisive action where we didn't do well enough, we were dominant, the better team and created some good chances.

"We needed a little bit of luck maybe and a little bit of final execution. We deserved a goal but have to keep going. It's half time. It's a tight tie. We look forward to Stamford Bridge."

Joao Felix had an excellent game but will rue two missed goal-scoring opportunities. PA

While pleased with Chelsea's overall performance, Potter admitted his side should have done better with Adeyemi's goal, which saw the forward race clear with the Blues exposed at the back.

"We were pushing at the time and were the better team so to concede in that manner is disappointing," he said. "But the players are honest, they know they can do better with that. We have to help them of course but we have to focus on the positive which was the performance. Another step forward for us."

Dortmund manager Edin Terzic admitted that his team did ride their luck at times but said he was pleased with the way they managed to grind out a victory to extend their fine form to seven straight wins.

Chelsea manager Graham Potter is confident his team can turn the tie around at Stamford Bridge. Reuters

"It's great to come out on the winning side," Terzic told DAZN. "There was a little bit of luck involved and we had an exceptional goalkeeper. But there's no need to apologise after winning at home against Chelsea in the last 16.

"What we really needed was longer periods of possession. We won the ball well in midfield a lot, but then gave it away again too cheaply.

"There were a lot of good things, too – the best of which is the result – but we know it's not easy to play against Chelsea and we took a good step tonight."

Edin Terzic said he was pleased Borussia Dortmund were able to grind out a win against Chelsea. AP
Updated: February 16, 2023, 5:41 AM