Karim Adeyemi’s outstanding goal gave Borussia Dortmund the victory against Chelsea on Wednesday night at Signal Iduna Park in their Champions League round of 16 first leg matchup.
After a hectic January transfer window and the recovery of several injured players, Chelsea fielded a new-look starting lineup for the Champions League. Chelsea played well in the first half and saw Joao Felix blow two opportunities to put his team ahead during the goalless first half.
With a great individual performance, Germany international Adeyemi gave Dortmund the lead halfway through the second half. He picked up the ball in midfield, outran his defender, went around Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal, and then buried the ball to give Dortmund the lead.
The crucial second leg will take place on March 7 at Stamford Bridge.
“We controlled the first period. Although they had opportunities, we had the bulk of the first half under control, according to Dortmund captain Jude Bellingham. “We let off on the throttle in the second half, and they had greater control. We demonstrated our defence and ability to finish games.
With just one victory in 2023, Chelsea’s effectiveness in front of goal has been a problem for the Premier League team this season. This was once again clear.
The Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel denied Enzo Fernandez in stoppage time to seal the outcome after they wasted a number of golden opportunities during the course of the game.
Thiago Silva scored the game’s first goal after 16 minutes for Graham Potter’s team, but the Chelsea captain was then called for a handball after attempting to head in a cross.
Dortmund steadily gained more room, and Sebastien Haller struck the side netting in the 27th minute.
The visitors, who spent more than $350 million on players during the winter transfer window, retaliated by giving Felix two good opportunities of their own, and Felix also missed the crossbar after beating Kobel.
The first attempts on goal for both sides didn’t come until the second half, with Kobel deflecting a strong Reece James free kick beyond and Arrizabalaga blocking Julian Brandt’s low drive.
But after 63 minutes, Dortmund scored thanks to some strong goal-scoring from Chelsea, which forced another excellent Kobel stop.
Adeyemi sprinted half the length of the field after snagging a clearing from a Chelsea corner, outdistanced Fernandez in a run, and went around Kepa to score.
“That objective is bad. We need to improve. Potter commented after the game, “We were pressing at the moment and we were the superior team. The athletes are aware that they can perform better with it. But we’ll concentrate on the good stuff. It was a step in the right direction for us. The team is filled with spirit. We need a little luck, more like tonight’s performance, and to keep getting better.
Emre Can successfully cleared Kalidou Koulibaly’s attempt off the line, and Kobel again denied Fernandez in the last seconds before the German team won their sixth game in a row, giving the hosts some late concerns.