March 23, 2023

UCL PREVIEW: Chelsea look to overturn first-leg deficit against Dortmund

March 7, 2023
Chelsea Dortmund

Chelsea will be hoping to turn around their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, as they host the German side for the first time ever in a competitive match.

The Blues lost the first leg 1-0 in Germany, but history suggests that they still have a good chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.

This defeat was the eighth time that Chelsea have lost the first leg of a UCL knockout tie, but they have progressed to the next round more often than not, with four successful comebacks compared to three exits.

Moreover, Borussia Dortmund have a poor record away in England in the competition, having lost their last five Champions League matches in the country against Premier League clubs.

Their last victory there dates back to October 2013, when they defeated Arsenal 2-1.

However, BVB have a solid record in UCL ties after winning the first leg, having progressed from five of their previous six knockout ties after winning the opening game of two, with the exception being their 2019-20 round of 16 exit to Paris Saint-Germain.

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Despite this, they rarely win both legs of their UCL knockout ties, not doing so since 1996-97, when they won both legs of their quarter-final against Auxerre and semi-final against Manchester United en route to lifting the Champions League trophy for the first and only time.

Borussia Dortmund enter this match in exceptional form, having won 10 competitive matches in a row for the first time since August 2021. If they win this match, it’ll be their best winning run in all competitions since September 2015, when they won 11 in a row under Thomas Tuchel, who has managed both of these clubs.

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Across 2023, Borussia Dortmund are the only team to have won 100% of their competitive matches, having won all 10 of their games. In comparison, Chelsea have won just two of their 12 matches in all competitions.

Finding a regular goalscorer has been a major issue for Chelsea under Graham Potter, as Kai Havertz is the only player to have scored more than three goals across these 27 matches.

In the 2022-23 Champions League, Chelsea topped Group E ahead of Italian giants AC Milan, Red Bull Salzburg, and Dinamo Zagreb, with their only defeat coming in the opening game away in the Croatian capital. Borussia Dortmund qualified for the round of 16 by finishing in second place behind Manchester City in Group G.

Their nine-point tally in the group stage was the lowest of any team to qualify for the last 16, but still enough to finish above LaLiga club Sevilla and FC Copenhagen.

Kai Havertz

Havertz will be hoping to break his goal drought against Dortmund, having played 675 minutes over eight matches against them without scoring.

However, he has had more shots and more touches in the opposition box than any other Chelsea player in the UCL this season, and was involved in eight of the Blues’ 21 attempts against Dortmund in the first leg.

Julian Brandt

Julian Brandt has been in sensational form for Borussia Dortmund, having been involved in more goals across 2023 in all competitions for Edin Terzić’s side than any other player.

He has already equalled last season’s competitive goal tally for BVB with nine goals and has been an integral part of their 10-game winning run.

Brandt also created the most chances for BVB across all competitions in this period, both overall and from open play, while also playing a match-high 26 passes in the final third in the first leg against Chelsea.

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