Potter hails Chelsea's character after beating Dortmund
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Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand doesn’t fancy Chelsea’s chances of lifting the Champions League trophy, despite watching them overcome a first leg deficit to dump Borussia Dortmund out of the competition. The Blues progressed to the quarter-finals of Europe’s top-tier club tournament on Tuesday night as they defeated Dortmund 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory.
“I wouldn’t put them anywhere near being favourites – no disrespect – just because of the form and where other teams are in comparison, but the difference this result can make for the confidence right now is great,” Ferdinand said.
“We’ll see, you’ve got to take it game-by-game. You can’t look any further than this weekend, look to this weekend and get that game out of the way, chalk another one off – another clean sheet maybe, another three points. Then they can keep building that confidence.”
Chelsea produced one of their finest performances of the Graham Potter era as they dominated Dortmund for large spells of the match. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for the Blues just before the break after Kai Havertz had had an earlier effort ruled out.
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And the west Londoners scored their winner in the early stages of the second half as Havertz notched from the penalty spot. The Germany international initially missed the spot kick but was given a second chance to take it following an encroachment. The Blues then had another strike from Conor Gallagher ruled out but hung on to claim the win.
That result eases the pressure on Potter, who has come under fire following a string of poor results. Since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Brighton, Potter has seen his team fall to 10th in the Premier League table and exit the FA Cup and Carabao Cup at the third round stages.
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Potter will be hoping Tuesday’s victory can be the catalyst his side need to turn their season around. And after the match, he said: “There was a fantastic feeling in the dressing room. We have been through a tough period and this competition means a lot for us. We wanted to progress and get into the last eight and it sets us up for the next few weeks.
“It is great for the boys, two clean sheets after a tough period. You get that in life and it is about how you respond and the players have been fantastic. It was important we put pressure on them and get the crowd with us. It is not easy to do because they are a top team playing with confidence. Credit to the players, they gave everything and over the two games I thought we deserved to go through.”
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