I don’t think anything makes my heart race faster than when Dortmund plays in the Champions League, especially when that match is in the knockouts. Going into this match I was cautiously optimistic as Dortmund had been on a six game winning streak and Chelsea’s form in 2023 consisted of one win, five draws and three losses. That being said, Chelsea had just completed a 323 million Pound spending spree in the January window, boasting new talents like Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, and Enzo Fernandez to name just a few. In addition, Dortmund’s recent form against English opponents included two draws and eight losses in their last ten. This is a big win, so let’s get hyped!
Here are our picks for Man of the Match!
After a poor start to life at Dortmund, Karim Adeyemi has finally found his form. After scoring his first two Bundesliga goals in two consecutive matches Adeyemi then served two unrelated 1-match bans so I was nervous the break would take the wind out of his sails. Yet I had nothing to fear as this wonder kid put on a fantastic display of football today. The way Karim dribbled up the field with accelerating pace before juking around Chelsea Keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga and slotting home the match-winner was a reminder of what a fine talent Sebastian Kehl recruited.
Big Greg showed up today making seven saves, three of them diving. Kobel also had four vital punches to break up Chelsea’s attack, and thirteen recoveries. Despite the xG conceded goals being 2.13, Greg managed a clean sheet. These statistics speak for themselves and Kobel has become the reliable keeper that Dortmund needs to compete at the top level.
He got a yellow card tonight, and Emre Can still made the Man of the Match nomination. (Though half the team was carded, so this is no outlier.) I feel like Emre Can is a new football player in 2023 and performing at his top level. In addition to his high pass accuracy in this match, Emre Can won nine duels and even stepped into the central defense when he was called upon. Emre Can’s goal-line clearance late in this game wasn't just a show of reflexes, it saved this game from going 1-1.
This young German has certainly rediscovered his best form since returning from the World Cup. There wasn't a singular play that stood out in Schlotti’s performance today, but his consistency and vision have amazed me in recent weeks. More than once, he successfully defended multiple Chelsea players, and even covered for Rapha when the later was up the pitch. This is the kind of consistency we can only hope our players have.
Who was your Man of the Match?
This poll is closed
Honorable Mentions: Julian Brandt, Marius Wolf
Shoutout to my good friend, J-Balls who has supported Chelsea since before we met.
This run of form is giving me flashbacks to Terzic’s first stint in charge.
What did you think of this match?
What are Dortmund’s chances of Advancing to the Quarterfinals?