Potter hails Chelsea after Champions League victory

Chelsea boss Graham Potter saluted the performance of his side after the Blues booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

A goal from Raheem Sterling and a twice-taken penalty by Kai Havertz secured a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge as the home side overturned a 1-0 deficit from the first leg to keep their season alive and ease the pressure on Potter.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere, fantastic evening,” said Potter.

“The players and supporters were tremendous. My job is to help the team and the players and support them. They have been suffering as well, nobody has enjoyed the run.

“To win a game to get into the last eight of the Champions League, it has to rank up there as my best evenings.

“Stamford Bridge was rocking, we played some good stuff against a top team.

“You need a bit of luck and after the World Cup we had no Raheem, no Ben Chilwell, no Reece James, no N’Golo Kante – that can hurt you.

“Tonight they had a couple of players out and we were able to benefit.”

Chelsea levelled the tie on aggregate when Sterling netted three minutes before half-time.

And Havertz, having hit the post from the spot, was handed another chance because of encroachment by Borussia Dortmund players, and held his nerve to score what turned out to be the winning goal.

Chelsea created a number of chances, with Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly missing sitters and Havertz firing against the inside of the post, before eventually making the breakthrough.

After good work by Mateo Kovacic, Chilwell pulled the ball back from the left to Sterling, who mis-kicked but then managed to bundle his way past Marco Reus before blasting his second attempt into the roof of the net.

Havertz also needed a second attempt to find the net seven minutes after the interval when Marius Wolf was penalised for handling Chilwell’s cross following a VAR check.

Already aggrieved at that decision, the visitors were enraged when a retake was ordered after Havertz had side-footed against the post.

Havertz showed great composure to take an almost identical penalty – low to keeper’s Alexander Meyer’s left – but this time slotted into the bottom corner of the net.