Chelsea were punished for a profligate showing at Borussia Dortmund after Karim Adeyemi’s second-half strike secured a slender 1-0 lead in the UEFA Champions League last 16.
Graham Potter’s side will have home advantage in the return match at Stamford Bridge on March 7 but Signal Iduna Park missed the chance on Wednesday.
Joao Felix spurned a pair of glorious first-half chances in an entertaining encounter in Germany, with Adeyemi’s 63rd-minute goal adding to Chelsea’s misery after a brutal counter-attack.
The Blues still have a chance to turn the tie on its head, but Potter and his men cannot afford a similar struggle on goal in the second leg in west London.
Thiago Silva had the ball in the back of the net after 16 minutes, only for the goal to be ruled out and the centre-back cautioned for an apparent handball with Gregor Kobel at the back.
The chances continued to flow in a frenetic first half as Marius Wolff blasted a golden chance wide and Sebastian Heller fired wide of the target from a presentable opening.
Joao Felix blazed over in vain before hitting the crossbar after driving, while Wolves arrowed just wide with a scrambling Capa Arrizabalaga.
Kobel produced an expert stop to deny Reece James’ pinpoint free-kick after the interval, before the Dortmund goalkeeper promptly thwarted the England right-back’s bouncing volley.
Adeyemi was clinical when Dortmund broke from the resulting corner, released by Rafael Guerrero and past Enzo Fernandez before Capa scored.
Emre Can then cleared off the line after thwarting Kalidou Koulibaly’s effort under Kobel, who maintained Dortmund’s narrow lead with a fine stop from Fernandez in the final minute.
Borussia Dortmund player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Gregor Kobel – 9/10 – Made a handful of important saves, particularly to keep the scores level just before Adeyemi’s breakthrough and later to preserve the lead when Fernandez thought he’d put a stoppage time equaliser in the top corner.
RB: Marius Wolf – 7/10 – Put in a physical shift and his presence in key moments was just enough to put Chelsea players off more than once.
CB: Niklas Sule – 7/10 – Barely misplaced a pass and was on the end of most balls that came into the penalty area.
CB: Nico Schlotterbeck – 7/10 – Impressively kept Chelsea at bay.
LB: Raphael Guerreiro – 7/10 – Gets credit for the assist and held his own defensively.
CM: Emre Can – 9/10 – Made a heroic goal-line clearance to preserve the lead, capping off an already epic defensive performance.
CM: Saih Ozcan – 6/10 – Patrolled the midfield.
RM: Julian Brandt – 8/10 – Repeatedly dropped deep to then run with the ball that dragged Chelsea midfielders out of position. Created plenty and was always asking questions of the defence.
AM: Jude Bellingham (c) – 7/10 – Involved in plenty of what Dortmund did well.
LM: Karim Adeyemi – 8/10 – A lively threat from the early stages and later took his goal so well in a really clinical manner.
ST: Sebastien Haller – 6/10 – Made his Champions League debut for Dortmund following his cancer treatment. Not an easy night but went close to scoring in the first half.
SUB: Anthony Modeste (68′ for Haller) – /10
SUB: Julian Ryerson (73′ for Wolf) – /10
SUB: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (78′ for Adeyemi) – /10
Edin Terzic – 7/10 – The game plan worked well and his players gave it everything.
Chelsea player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5/10 – Not massively busy in the end. Stood little chance for the goal once Adeyemi was running at him with pace.
RB: Reece James – 6/10 – Walked a tightrope from the first few minutes because of an early yellow card. His free-kicks were a source of danger.
CB: Thiago Silva (c) – 6/10 – Booked for putting the ball in the net with his hand. Dominated most situaitons in his penalty area.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly – 6/10 – Turned away a few dangerous looking crosses in the first half. Almost emerged as a hero for Chelsea but was denied an equaliser by a goal-line clearance.
LB: Ben Chilwell – 5/10 – Got forward when he could but struggled against an impressive Brandt.
CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6/10 – Ended up being quite a safe performance.
CM: Enzo Fernandez – 5/10 – Okay passing but a lack of pace was exposed in the first half by Brandt and then critically by Adeyemi in the second.
RM: Hakim Ziyech – 6/10 – Fairly quiet in the first half but improved after the break.
AM: Joao Felix – 5/10 – Looked lively to begin with but squandered two glorious first half chances. Later faded badly from the game.
LM: Mykhailo Mudryk – 3/10 – Looked more like a fan who had won a competition to play a game with Chelsea than someone who could eventually cost £90m.
ST: Kai Havertz – 5/10 – His shooting radar was off but involved in creating chances for others.
SUB: Marc Cucurella (71′ for Chilwell) – 6/10
SUB: Mason Mount (71′ for Mudryk) – 6/10
Graham Potter – 6/10 – Forced into a couple of changes from the weekend because there was no room in the Champions League squad for Benoit Badiashile and Noni Madueke. Things haven’t clicked for this new look team yet and the only thing that will help is time.
Player of the match – Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund)
Clicks on ADS 👇👇.