Chelsea: match notes – 24hfootnews

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Is spending €370m a good way to go far in the Champions League? The round of 16 first leg between Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea was to give a first element of the answer, while the Premier League takes care of reminding Todd Boehly that building a squad of more than 30 players brings more headaches to his coach than points to his team. Among the inconsistencies noted in the eleven of the Blues, the tenure of Hakim Ziyech, who was awaiting his transfer to Paris on January 31, was at the top of the list. The winter recruits, with Enzo Fernandez, João Felix and Mykhaylo Mudryk, were also present. And it was Mudryk who created the first thrill by taking advantage of the spaces behind the Borussia defense, but Schlötterbeck intervened with a splendid tackle. The match started at a high pace, with both teams looking to move forward quickly. Jude Bellingham was in charge, and BVB smothered Chelsea with constant pressing. This did not give birth to really dangerous actions, except for a small net shot from Haller. Chelsea, for their part, rushed into the spaces on the counter, with João Felix and Mudryk in the lead, without more efficiency, like a shot above the Portuguese on a perfect service from Ziyech (31st). Felix touched the bar in stride, after a nice number (38th).

On returning from the locker room, Chelsea offered themselves a long time of possession in the German camp, with the added bonus of a splendid free kick from James released by Kobel (55th). Chelsea pushed, but were thin defensively and it was Adeyemi who took advantage. Following a corner from the Blues, he recovered the ball in his camp, offered himself a fantastic ride by depositing Enzo Fernandez and eliminated Kepa (1-0, 63rd)! Chelsea went on the attack and BVB cowered in defence. Emre Can saved on his line a shot from Koulibaly released by Kobel (79th). Despite a clear English domination in the second half and a last strike from Enzo Fernandez released by Kobel (90th + 5), it is Borussia Dortmund who emerged victorious from this round of 16 first leg on the smallest of margins, which promises an equally hot return match!

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LdC, Dortmund: Jude Bellingham ignites for Karim Adeyemi

  • man of the match: Kobel (8): if he didn’t have a lot of saves to make in the first half, even if he was saved by his crossbar against Félix, the second act was totally different. And he responded by performing high-class parades (55th, 62nd, 78th). He concludes his performance with a splendid save against Fernandez (90th + 5). The Swiss sometimes had difficulties in the air. But the main thing is elsewhere, since he kept his clean sheet and in what way. He kept the victory of his people.

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  • Kobel (8): see below

  • Wolf (5.5): against Mudryk and Félix, he had a lot of work this Wednesday. And the German has often been put in difficulty by the two new signings of Chelsea by their vista. From an offensive point of view, he was more at ease by offering solutions in his lane, often in good shots with Brandt. He had a great opportunity at the end of the first period (43rd). Replaced by Julian Ryerson (73rd)which brought personality when it came into play.

  • Sule (6): the former central defender of Bayern had work during this round of 16. Faced with the speed of the London attackers, he did not always keep up, especially on the counter. His good reading of the game, however, was an asset for the BVB. He was able to make several decisive interventions (39th). He held on in the money-time against the onslaught of visitors.

  • Schlotterbeck (6.5): he was the most comfortable defender against Potter’s men. From the outset, he imposed his law by making a beautiful tackle on Mudryk (1st). The German was then very clean in the recovery, often trying long balls in the direction of his attackers. Just like his friend in central defense, he was irreproachable in the last minutes.

  • Guerreiro (6): he who is often more left winger than side, he had to contain himself this Wednesday evening. In a duel with Ziyech, the Portuguese could not often prevent the Moroccan from crossing but he also did not lose control in his face to face. Despite everything, on each of his climbs, his crosses were regularly dangerous and precise. As a bonus, he is the passer for Adeyemi’s masterpiece.

  • Can (7.5): positioned in a sentinel role, he was the link between the defense and the attack of his team. He showed authority against the Blues with several valuable interceptions. After the break he went up another notch, as Chelsea increased the pressure on Kobel’s goals. He is the author of a magnificent rescue on his line (78th).

  • Adeyemi (7.5): the nugget of German football had two faces in this confrontation. First in the first half, where he had a lot of waste in his game. His choices in the offensive position were often out of time. He often wanted to make a difference with his dribbling, but he was not very successful. Then when he returned from the locker room, where he was finally able to show all his talent with his speed and his dribbling. His legendary goal shows how poisonous he can be for all defenders. His birth certificate on the European scene. Replaced by Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (79th)who had few balloons to express himself.

  • Bellingham (7): as often since the beginning of the season, he was the soul of his team. Endowed with a very large volume of play, he directed his team’s play with an always adequate vision. He was also seen often throwing himself into the penalty area and attempting shots near the surface. The young Englishman was still guilty of several avoidable faults. A good Bellingham, without being either fantastic. But his level is already so impressive at his age…

  • Ozcan (5): a rather neutral copy for the Turk. If he was at the origin of some good combinations, we saw him very little in the zone of truth. Defensively he was put to much more use. It is in this sector that he was most illustrated in the second half. A serious match, nothing more.

  • Brandt (6.5): with Bellingham, they were the masters of Borussia. His technical and passing quality allowed his team to achieve several long possession sequences. Faced with the game, the German was a permanent danger for the Blues. He tried a lot of one-two with his partners. Less prominent in the second half, even if his shots have always been productive. BVB’s in-form man in recent weeks.

  • Haller (4): in a not the most ideal match configuration for a number 9, he pulled out of the game at times. The Ivorian international has often been useful in a pivot position for the raises of the Yellow and Black. He obtained a good situation in the first half (27th). But he was padlocked by the Blues defense. Replaced by Anthony Modeste (68th)who had several counterattack situations without negotiating them well.


  • Kepa (4.5): the Spanish goalkeeper had almost nothing to do in this meeting. But he badly negotiated his face-to-face against Adeyemi for the only goal of the match. He let himself be eliminated too easily. For the rest, nothing to report except a few parades on fairly quiet strikes.

  • James (6.5): Reece James has done a lot of good for his team in every way. Defensively, he was impressive, blocking Adeyemi perfectly in the one-on-one. Offensively, he was very dangerous. First, because he was able to combine with Ziyech in front, and also because his speed and power allowed him to pierce the lines and therefore create spaces. A real good game from him.

  • Koulibaly (6): back as a starter, since Badiashile is not registered in the Champions League, the Senegalese international took the opportunity to reassure himself and show Graham Potter that he remains a very good defender. Very clean defensively throughout the game, his team conceded the only goal of the match when he was not at his post. He could have equalized, but his shot was saved in extremis on his line by Emre Can (78th).

  • Thiago Silva (6): the Brazilian captain was once again impressive in his reading of the game and his sense of anticipation. He perfectly padlocked Haller then the Dortmund attackers for 90 minutes. However, he had started the meeting in an astonishing way by voluntarily marking with his hand and logically scooping a yellow. Bad luck for him, it was on a counterattack, where he was still at the forefront, that Chelsea conceded the goal.

  • Chilwell (5): preferred to Cucurella on the left lane, the English international was rather interesting even if he was mostly content to defend. This is perhaps what we can blame him for because there was room with Mudryk’s big activity at the start of the game. He of course contained Brandt who was nevertheless very inspired on Wednesday evening. Replaced by Cucurella at the 71st. The Spaniard did not bring much to his lane.

  • Loftus-Cheek (4): positioned in the heart of the game, the English midfielder did not have the physical impact expected by his coach and was carried around by Jude Bellingham throughout the meeting. A disappointing performance from him and he seemed technically far below the lot. Far from being his best game with Chelsea. Discreet in the offensive projections of his team as well.

  • Fernández (5): the Argentinian World Champion was interesting in the circulation of the ball. It was he who took care of dictating the game of his team by not hesitating to communicate a lot with his partners. Defensively, he had made great interventions until he was literally dropped by Adeyemi on the opener for Dortmund. A defensive error which cost his team dearly and which can therefore be described as regrettable. Offensively, he attempted several well-felt strikes.

  • Ziyesh (5): after his aborted transfer to PSG, Hakim Ziyech seems to have the confidence of his coach who has again established him for this round of 16 first leg of the Champions League. Very little found in the first act, the Moroccan only needed a ball to create danger but his fine pass did not benefit Joao Felix who missed the target (31st). He tried a lot in the second half but lacked precision in the last gesture.

  • João Felix (6): the Portuguese international on loan from Atlético de Madrid was Chelsea’s most dangerous player and probably the most unlucky too. He missed a great opportunity on the excellent service of Ziyech (31st) and his shot after easily eliminating the German defender came crashing down on the bar (37th). He was stirring but his lack of accuracy in the last gesture was frustrating. But by far the best attacking Chelsea side.

  • Mudryk (4.5): the Ukrainian football star had started his meeting strong by directly provoking his vis-à-vis. His speed and technical ease made Borussia Dortmund suffer in the first quarter of an hour. He then became much more discreet and found very little in the second half. It may still be too irregular. Replaced by Mount at the 71st. The English brought a little more technical mastery in the last tier.

  • Havertz (4.5): Aligned at the forefront of the attack, Kai Havertz showed his limits in a position he occupies more and more often but which is not his. If he was able to have spaces in depth, he rarely played the shots well and did not know how to feel the spaces when crosses from Ziyech or Mudryk. He did what he could but it’s too fair for a meeting of this level.

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