Chelsea head coach Graham Potter said his players “need to do better” at defending counter-attacks after an electric run and cool finish from Karim Adeyemi condemned the Blues to a 1-0 defeat in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg at Borussia Dortmund. Adeyemi raced much of the length of the pitch on a blistering break, beat Enzo Fernandez and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and slotted in the composed second-half winner as the Bundesliga side continued a sublime start to the calendar year that has now seen them claim eight wins from eight games in all competitions. Joao Felix hit the crossbar with a close-range shot before the break as Chelsea’s poor run extended to one win in their last nine games, scoring only four goals along the way. “You always need a bit of luck, but you can’t wait around for luck,” said Potter, speaking to BT Sport after seeing strikes by Fernandez and Reece James thwarted by springing saves from Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel. “It is a counter-attack from a corner. We were close to scoring ourselves. They broke on us. It is disappointing and we need to do better. Apart from that, we were really, really good — we just have to score. “You have to keep working. The boys have been fantastic with their work, but we are still suffering at the moment.”
Chelsea had been unbeaten in five European games under Potter, who guided them to the top of their group during the early months of his reign after taking over in October. In an absorbing, unpredictable game at a boisterous Signal Iduna Park, Sebastien Haller — returning after treatment for cancer — hit the side-netting with a strike from a tight angle and Emre Can cleared off the line when Kobel was unable to hold a fierce drive from inside the penalty area by Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly. Dortmund have the distinction of winning the first-ever competitive match between the sides and know that another clean sheet at Stamford Bridge on March 7 will guarantee their place in the quarterfinals.
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