Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves agree on ‘outstanding’ Chelsea star
In pictures: Chelsea v Dortmund
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Chelsea booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday night as they overcame Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on aggregate following a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their last 16 tie. And former England stars Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves were in agreement that Blues forward Kai Havertz had delivered on the night.
“Chelsea deserved it – by far the better team,” Hargreaves told BT Sport after the final whistle. “I thought Kai Havertz was absolutely outstanding, and so many great performances from Chelsea, keeping a clean sheet and scoring two goals. Nothing but positives for this Chelsea team.”
Havertz had only found the back of the net six times for the Blues this season ahead of his team’s clash with Dortmund. But he scored his most important goal of the campaign in the early stages of the second half as struck from the penalty spot.
The Germany attacker initially missed his spot kick but was allowed to retake it following an encroachment. And he kept his cool at the second time of asking as he slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.
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“That shows real courage, to be fair,” continued Hargreaves. “He stepped up, the composure to step up and put it in the same place, I thought he was brilliant today. A lot of people say as a false nine, a player in different positions, I just thought he delivers. He was fantastic today, showed real composure in big moments. They need somebody to step up – Raheem [Sterling] did it in the first half and Kai Havertz in the second.”
Cole then added: “He’s got a great habit, Kai, of big moments. We’ve seen him score the winning goal in the Champions League, we’ve seen him up in the studio there and there was a little melee about who was going to take it – I think Raheem was there, Reece [James] was there and he grabbed it with real meaning. I thought yeah, he’s going to put this away – but to do the exact same technique was fantastic.”
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Havertz thought he had opened the scoring for Chelsea in the first half after he lashed the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the box. But his effort was ruled out after Sterling had strayed offside. The Blues did eventually take the lead before the interval as Sterling finished well following good work from Ben Chilwell on the left.
Following Havertz’ penalty, Graham Potter’s side had a strike from Conor Gallagher ruled out in the closing stages of the match after Sterling had been caught offside again. But the Blues were convincing in their victory and Potter may have finally got the result he needed to turn around his team’s difficult season.
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