Chelsea win over BVB in Champions League

Chelsea win over BVB in Champions League

Chelsea beat Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge 2-0 on Tuesday to book their place in the Champions League quarterfinals and ease the mounting pressure on head coach Graham Potter. Needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Germany three weeks ago, Chelsea made a fast start but had to wait until Raheem Sterling's 43rd-minute strike to break the deadlock.

Kai Havertz sealed a 2-1 aggregate win by converting a 53rd-minute penalty at the second attempt. The spot kick was awarded after referee Danny Makkelle was sent to the monitor by VAR official Pol Van Boekel to review a handball by Marius Wolf. Havertz's first effort struck the post, but VAR revealed encroachment into the box by multiple Dortmund players, and Havertz slotted home the retake.

Christian Pulisic made his first appearance for Chelsea since Jan. 5 as a late substitute, and Chelsea hung on to a precious victory that sees them reach the last eight of Europe's premier club competition for the second consecutive season.

The sheer scale of recent investment poured into the club by ownership -- around £600m all told -- demands a better immediate return than the Blues have managed of late. An early Champions League exit would have strengthened Potter's critics in arguing the job might be too big for the 47-year-old to handle.

Potter was noticeably more animated in this match on the touchline, regularly trying to rally the crowd and reacting to refereeing decisions with more vigour than normal.

The prospect of a Champions League quarterfinal next month will give Potter a tangible achievement to point to if the domestic stutters continue. But he will be hoping back-to-back wins for the first time since October will prove to be a long-awaited turning point.

he lack of goals has been Chelsea's biggest problem under Potter. It threatened to be another hugely frustrating evening as they created and then spurned a series of chances repeatedly, including when Havertz hit the post, or when had the ball in the net with a brilliant finish only for the offside flag to be raised.

Remarkably, this was the first time since Dec. 27 that Chelsea had scored more than once in a game. It was precisely what they needed to do to qualify, but encouraging performances from Joao Felix and Havertz in particular should help Chelsea banish what had surely, at least in part, become a psychological issue in front of goal.

A regular threat down the left flank and made a vital interception on the stroke of half-time.