Champions League scores: Chelsea and Benfica Cruise to Champions League Knockouts Behind Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz Goals!

Champions League scores Chelsea and Benfica Cruise to Champions League Knockouts Behind Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz Goals!

On Tuesday, Chelsea and Benfica qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals after a thrilling encounter. At Stamford Bridge, the Blues’ attack scored for the first time in 2023 to edge out Dortmund 2-0, sealing a 2-1 aggregate win and a place in the last eight. Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz grabbed the goals, but the match was full of twists and turns, with Gio Reyna and Christian Pulisic eventually facing off as the final whistle blew.

Marius Wolf’s handball infraction, reviewed by VAR, gave Chelsea a controversial penalty opportunity, which Kai Havertz initially failed to convert, as his shot cannoned off the bar. Yet, following encroachment by Borussia Dortmund, the referee allowed a retake and the Blues were extremely supportive of their teammate in this situation, allowing Havertz to take the penalty again, and he successfully found the bottom corner of the goal, giving his side a 2-0 lead. Dortmund’s attack was limited due to the early injury of Julian Brandt and the substitution of Gio Reyna, as Chelsea’s defence kept them well contained throughout the game.

Benfica cruised to a convincing 5-1 win over Club Brugge (7-1 on aggregate) with braces from Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario. Scott Parker’s team failed to find their footing as they were outclassed from the start, unable to match the midfield and defensive excellence of their opponents. Despite the loss to Oostende in the relegation zone of Belgium, Brugge would have not predicted such a one-sided affair.

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The results from Tuesday

The outcomes of two games have been determined, with Chelsea defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 and Benfica besting Club Brugge 5-1. From these results, it is clear that Chelsea and Benfica emerged victorious, while Dortmund and Brugge were left empty-handed.

No Thiago Silva, no problem

Recently, Dortmund have been scoring goals with ease, while Chelsea suffered a setback when their skipper Thiago Silva got injured. It was reasonable to anticipate that the Blues would be vulnerable in defence during the match. With Benoit Badiashile disqualified from the Champions League squad since the team had more January acquisitions than they could list, Potter had to vary his defence from the one that had managed a clean sheet against Leeds United, bringing in Marc Cucurella to complete a back three with Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana.

Forfana’s arrival was perfectly timed for Chelsea, as he made his fourth outing since sustaining a knee injury. He was outstanding throughout the match, winning two of his three tackles and making three clearances to help Reece James stop Marco Reus. This enabled them to limit Dortmund’s offensive threat and let Kepa show why he was the priciest goalkeeper transfer in the world, with only four shots testing the netminder.

The reliable defensive foundation provided by Potter has made it less frustrating to accept Chelsea’s difficulty in scoring goals, as they have often only needed one goal to secure a win.

It wasn’t attractive, but it served its purpose

Completion has been a challenge for Chelsea, however they reverted to the fundamentals during this game. With Joao Felix, Havertz, and Sterling in the forward line, the Blues had a great equilibrium to their attack, which gave Dortmund a run for their money. It was the first time in 12 fixtures, since their success over Bournemouth in December 2022, that they had scored twice. Some of this is attributable to James’ part in the offence but the middle pair of Mateo Kovacic and Enzo Fernandez offers the offence liberty through their authority in possession and judgement.

Accomplishing these feats would have recharged the faith in Chelsea’s attacking power. This was highlighted when Sterling scored, with a blunder preceding an exceptional finish, which demonstrates that the Blues can only go up due to their level of skill.

Two consecutive victories and shutouts demonstrate that Potter’s tactics are effective for Chelsea, which could make them a formidable opponent in the later stages of the Champions League.

Benfica’s confidence is increasing

The absence of Darwin Nunez and Enzo Fernandez could have been devastating for many teams, but Benfica, who have a strong recruitment policy, have shown why they are leading their domestic league by eight points. Against Club Brugge, who are far from the side that finished last in Group B, Benfica demonstrated their impressive form, passing, dribbling, and scoring five goals in the tie. Led by Goncalo Ramos, Benfica are surely capable of causing some damage in the Champions League.

Ramos, a two-footed striker, scored twice and provided an assist, demonstrating his ability to provide for his teammates. With a solid defensive line behind him, Benfica can be a formidable opponent if opponents are not wary.

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