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Berlin (Germany), Feb 16 – Karim Adeyemi’s sole goal helped Borussia Dortmund edge Chelsea 1-0 on home soil in the first leg of the Champions League’s Round of 16.
Dortmund took the reins from the kick-off but still had to wait until the half-hour mark to create the first presentable chance, as Sebastien Haller hit the side netting from a tight angle.
Chelsea sparked to life and nearly opened the scoring two minutes later when Joao Felix pulled wide from 12 meters, reports news agency Xinhua.
The Portuguese remained in the thick of things and should have opened the scoring before the break, but for all that Joao Felix rattled only the woodwork with his lob from inside the box following a counterattack.
The Blues came out with their guns blazing after the restart as Reece James’ free kick forced Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel into action in the 55th minute.
Kobel was on guard again seven minutes later when he tipped Mykhailo Mudryk’s drop kick around the crossbar.
The opener was scored at the other end of the pitch though as Adeyemi collected a clearance in Dortmund’s territory. The youngster shrugged off Enzo Fernandez before rounding Chelsea custodian Kepa Arrizabalaga to tap home the 1-0.
Chelsea responded with attacks but Emre Can scratched a hammer from Kalidou Koulibaly off the goal-line in the 78th minute before Kobel defused another effort from Joao Felix six minutes later.
Kobel continued busy between the posts as he denied Fernandez’s dangerous effort and a share of the spoils in the closing stages.
“We are delighted about the victory. Of course, we had luck on our side today. We must thank our goalkeeper Gregor Kobel,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic.
“Overall, a good performance. We competed well away from home. We played well in the second half apart from the goal against us. We got things to improve but it is halftime now and we have a chance at Stamford Bridge,” said Chelsea coach Graham Potter.