The game was eventually decided by Karim Adeyemi‘s breakaway goal in the second half, which left Chelsea with work to do in the return leg. Chelsea ultimately wasted a lot of chances.
The majority of the early attacking came from Dortmund, thus Chelsea’s defenders had to be on guard to stop a lot of shots that were placed in danger. However, it was the visiting Blues who had the ball in the net first from a wide free kick before it was disallowed and Thiago Silva was given a yellow card by the authorities for flicking the ball goalward with an extended hand.
Midway through the first half, Dortmund started to threaten more frequently in front of a boisterous home crowd as the front three of Adeyemi, Julian Brandt, and Sebastien Haller started to gel effectively. Haller’s shot into the side netting served as a strong message to Chelsea.
Not long after, Chelsea had a wonderful opportunity of their own, but Joao Felix blazed over from a decent position after Emre Can threw himself in front of it, perhaps discouraging the Portuguese. Adeyemi’s chance to do the same at the opposite end likewise fell short.
Felix missed yet another excellent opportunity prior to the break as he took on Marius Wolf and lifted the ball over Gregor Kobel only to see it rebound over the crossbar.
Ten minutes into the second half, Dortmund goalkeeper Kobel had to make his first stop of the game, parrying a Reece James free-kick to safety with maybe more flair than it required. Soon after, James again put Kobel’s reflexes to the test in open play. Between both Chelsea opportunities, Kepa had excellent reflexes to hold onto a low attempt from Brandt at the opposite end.
After Adeyemi gave Dortmund the lead, Kobel’s two saves were even more crucial. The youthful attacker scampered past Enzo Fernandez, who appeared to have no clue how to stop his opponent, around Kepa, and slotted the ball home seconds after a Chelsea corner.
As the game approached its conclusion, Kobel and Emre Can combined to prevent Chelsea from scoring an equalizer. Of all persons, Kalidou Koulibaly was the one to receive the ball in the penalty area. He tried for power, but Kobel did just enough to blunt the blow, and Can hooked away as the ball dribbled towards the goal.
While there was still time for one more Kobel save to prevent Fernandes from scoring what would have been a sensational equalizer in stoppage time, tensions threatened to flare up near the finish with some pushing and shoving in front of the benches.
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