March 8 – Could this be the game that saved beleaguered Chelsea manager Graham Potter’s job?
Despite an embarrassment of riches at his disposal, Potter went into Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 showdown with Borussia Dortmund with his position hanging in the balance after just two wins in 12 games since being appointed.
But after a 2-0 win over the high-flying Germans – who arrived on the back of 10 straight wins in all competitions — for a 2-1 aggregate, he can now look forward a quarter final spot.
Following Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Leeds, this is the first time Chelsea have recorded back-to-back victories since October though they needed two controversial VAR calls to come to their rescue.
First it intervened to give Chelsea a penalty for handball. Then, when Kai Havertz’s shot come back off the post, it got to work again – this time spotting an encroachment in the box which meant the kick had to be retaken, Havertz making no mistake second time round.
“We have been through a tough period and this competition means a lot for us,” said a relieved Potter as Chelsea, halfway down the Premier League table, progressed in a competition that represents their last chance for silverware and almost certainly their only route back into next season’s tournament.
Benfica also reached the Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday by thrashing Club Brugge 5-1 for a 7-1 aggregate.
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