If Chelsea fall out of the Champions League on Tuesday evening, all hell will break loose. Graham Potter is already under an excruciating amount of pressure in the dugout as his side sit 10th in the Premier League, but a European exit will increase the temperature to new heights.
On the back of a 1-0 win over Leeds United, the Blues may feel they should overhaul the one-goal deficit against Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge. But to go into that game with a level of arrogance would be disrespectful to the German giants who simply haven’t been given the credit they deserve from the British media.
Borussia Dortmund are Europe’s most in-form team. Since the World Cup break they have won every single match in every single competition. That’s a run of 11 straight games that has propelled them to second place in the Bundesliga, level on points with Bayern Munich, into the last eight of the DFB-Pokal, and 90 minutes away from the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
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The 1-0 win over Chelsea at the Westfalenstadion was one that showed the very best of Dortmund, even if they were perhaps fortunate to come away with the win. They were energetic and relentless, able to punish Graham Potter’s side in the key moments and come away with an important win.
Despite selling Erling Haaland in the summer to Manchester City, they have not found goals hard to come by as Sebastien Haller has returned after overcoming testicular cancer and Karim Adeyemi has emerged as another Dortmund superstar. The 21-year-old bagged after a superb solo run against Chelsea in the first leg and his pace could cause them problems on the counter-attack.
Then we come to the obvious star name. Jude Bellingham.
The £100m man is one of the finest midfielders in all of Europe and the envy of every Premier League side. He may well be the latest big name to leave Dortmund for England’s top flight come the summer, but for now he is pulling the strings for one of the best clubs on the continent.
Karim Adeyemi shows great pace and power get past Enzo Fernández and slots it home 🔥
Dortmund’s run in the second half of the season is something they haven’t experienced in recent years. They are finally on the shoulder of Bayern Munich and could push the 10-time reigning back-to-back champions all the way domestically. In the cup they have a great chance too, with a quarter-final tie to come against RB Leipzig, the team they beat 1-0 at the weekend. Impressively as we enter March, they are still fighting on all three fronts.
Their European journey is reminiscent of the one we saw 10 years ago as they thrilled us and went all the way to the final at Wembley. They secured epic wins over Malaga and Real Madrid before just coming up short against Munich in the final, but Jurgen Klopp’s side were enthralling to watch.
Now, even without Haaland, it feels as though they are a match for any side on the continent. In Bellingham they possess a true world star and they’ve built a team that will do anything for one another. It’s a winning formula.
So Chelsea fans: scrutinise Graham Potter for poor results in the Premier League, but don’t throw the book at him should Borussia Dortmund end your European hopes on Tuesday. Edin Terzic has simply taught his side how to win and win and win since the international break. Dortmund could cause more than one upset between now and the end of the season.