Top Winners and Losers After Tuesday’s Champions League Round of 16 Leg 2 Results

Top Winners and Losers After Tuesday’s Champions League Round of 16 Leg 2 Results
Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVMarch 7, 2023

Chelsea's English head coach Graham Potter celebrate with Chelsea's English defender Ben Chilwell a(R) after the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg football match between Chelsea and Borrusia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge in London on March 7, 2023. - Chelsea won the match 2-0. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

One game had drama. The other had one-sided fireworks. The Champions League never disappoints.

Chelsea moved on to the UCL quarterfinals with a 2-0 win and a 2-1 advantage on aggregate, while Benfica smoked Club Brugge 5-1 to move on 7-1 in aggregate.

Below, we’ll break down the afternoon’s winners and losers.


Winner: Graham Potter

Boy, did Graham Potter need this one.

We’re now a week into March, and coming into Tuesday’s match Chelsea had won just two matches this calendar year, despite spending an obscene amount of money on the roster between the summer and January windows. The buck always stops somewhere, and the narrative coming into Chelsea’s second leg against Dortmund was that the manager was potentially facing a do-or-die match.

With the Blues overcoming a 1-0 deficit in aggregate, it looks as though the manager will live to see another day.

William Hill @WilliamHill

Only two English managers have qualified from a Champions League knockout tie in the UCL era:

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Harry Redknapp (2010)
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Graham Potter (2023)

Harry, Potter. ⚡️

Gary Lineker 💙💛 @GaryLineker

Superb victory for @ChelseaFC and especially Graham Potter. 👏🏻👏🏻

Julien Laurens @LaurensJulien

Huge win for Potter, much improved performance, Havertz outstanding, the back 3 working well and a bit of luck too: massive night for Chelsea!

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Graham Potter is fist pumping into the Matthew Harding End. IS this the turning point? It feels like it inside Stamford Bridge at least and at least Chelsea have something to look forward to and build towards.

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

The turning point?

This was by some distance Potter’s biggest (only?) real success at Chelsea so far, which is saying something for a club who should be used to CL QF

But they’re there and so, for now, is he

Havertz was superbhttps://t.co/DTSc5T7lrP

This was a great win on a number of fronts. Chelsea’s attack was dynamic. The Blues overcame a Dortmund side that had won 10 straight matches. The defense was stout and Kepa Arrizabalaga was fantastic in goal.

But Potter was the main winner for Chelsea. Nobody needed this win worse than the embattled Chelsea manager.


Loser: Dortmund’s Penalty Luck

The defining moment in this game came in the 48th minute, when VAR controversially awarded Chelsea a penalty for a handball in the box. Kai Havertz then missed the ensuing attempt, but because Dortmund had players in the box before the kick was taken, he was given a reprieve and converted his second attempt.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

Kai Havertz gives Chelsea the lead on aggregate. 🎯

Chelsea score twice in a game for the first time since December 27th, 2022. pic.twitter.com/YZavcnbCAy

The penalty decision was debatable. The retake on the penalty itself was the correct call, even if the rule itself is questionable. But there was little doubting that for Dortmund, it was just a moment of tough luck.

Phil McNulty @philmcnulty

It hit Wolf’s hand as he turned away from Chilwell’s cross and the penalty is given. Dortmund very, very unhappy.

Phil McNulty @philmcnulty

Emre Can leading some pretty hefty Dortmund protests.

Joe Prince-Wright @JPW_NBCSports

To clear up any confusion regarding encroachment by Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell and then Borussia Dortmund players. Here is the rule. #CFC #BVB #UCL pic.twitter.com/ZQiZUZD8rK

Duncan Castles @DuncanCastles

Yet another example of a badly redrafted Law of the Game.
Three Chelsea players encroaching ahead of opponents, but because Dortmund players are also in the area VAR allows Chelsea a second chance to convert it dubiously awarded them. #CHEDOR pic.twitter.com/AXBir5iBxa

Derek Rae @RaeComm

If you’re a Dortmund fan that whole sequence seems unjust. Highly debatable pen, Havertz missed at first time of asking & Chelsea players encroached first. A fan of any team would feel aggrieved.

Aggrieved or not, Dortmund had plenty of time to equalize and were unable to do so. It was the key moment in the game, no doubt, but hardly the only moment that decided the outcome.


Winner: Gonçalo Ramos

Benfica absolutely cruised on Tuesday, and Gonçalo Ramos led the charge, notching an impressive brace.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

38′: 🅰️
45+2′: ⚽️
57′: ⚽️

Ruthless efficiency from Gonçalo Ramos. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/eXYu584rNO

Benfica didn’t even need his brace to advance comfortably. But it sure was pretty nonetheless.


Loser: Dortmund’s Defense

Chelsea were on the front foot for much of this game, and while the penalty controversy will be the talking point, it was Dortmund’s defensive effort that ultimately let them down.

It’s hard to find a much scrappier goal, or sloppier defending, than on Raheem Sterling’s opener:

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

RAHEEM STERLING LIFTS THE ROOF OFF OF STAMFORD BRIDGE! 💥 pic.twitter.com/qB6i64wOD8

Zito @_Zeets

I love that regardless of the manager or opponent, Dortmund have a strong tradition of looking shaky in defense

Dr Yash  @YashRMFC

Why out of everyone Reus is defending lmao, Dortmund defense is shambles pic.twitter.com/1OhegZxKrO

Yonathan @Yon_shim

Dortmund’s defense was poor to concede two to a Chelsea attack that’s just scored its first goal in a month this weekend

This was not the finest hour for Dortmund’s defense. It’s a sentence that Dortmund fans have uttered before in flabbergasted despair.

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