'You can't wait around for luck' - Potter warns Chelsea after 'dominant' display ends in Dortmund defeat

By Sports Desk February 15, 2023

Graham Potter urged Chelsea to not "wait around for luck" but hailed a "dominant" performance despite a slender defeat at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16.

Karim Adeyemi's third goal in as many games for Dortmund in all competitions, one more than in his previous 20 appearances, proved the difference in a narrow 1-0 win at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday.

Chelsea should have arguably been out of sight before Adeyemi's 63rd-minute strike, with Joao Felix squandering a pair of glorious first-half opportunities in an entertaining encounter.

Gregor Kobel had a fine game in goal for Edin Terzic's side too, and Potter appeared far from worried after an encouraging display ahead of the return meeting at Stamford Bridge on March 7.

The Chelsea head coach told BT Sport: "I thought we were the dominant team in the second half.

"It is half-time in the tie, we have to regroup. You can see the supporters' reaction, they were really positive, they can see the performance of the team, they gave us a fantastic reception.

"We are a team in progress, we know there are a lot of positive things there.

"You always need a bit of luck but you can't wait around for luck, you have to keep working.

"The boys have been fantastic with their work but we are still suffering at the moment. But we will keep on working."

Visiting Chelsea had 21 shots to their hosts' 14, with six more on target than Dortmund's two, as the Blues dominated without reward in Germany.

Potter's side amassed an expected goals tally of 2.14 to the 1.41 of Terzic's men as well, although all that mattered was Adeyemi's brilliant finish after a roaring counter-attack from a Chelsea corner.

Struggles in front of goal are not a new problem for Potter, with Chelsea managing just four goals in nine matches in all competitions and failing to score in five of those games.  

The Blues have drawn a blank in more outings in 2023 than any other Premier League club, yet Potter was pleased with what he saw – apart from Adeyemi's ruthless finish.

"It was a very strong performance, especially the second half," he added. "We created a lot of chances and efforts on goal but I am disappointed with the goal we conceded.

"It is a counter-attack from a corner, we were close to scoring ourselves. They broke on us. It is disappointing, we need to do better.

"Apart from that, we were really, really good, we just have to score. We had good attacking movements, clarity in terms of how we wanted to attack and got into the right areas. The attitude was really positive as well."

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  • Liverpool winner at Forest should have been ruled out, says Mark Clattenburg Liverpool winner at Forest should have been ruled out, says Mark Clattenburg

    Nottingham Forest referee analyst Mark Clattenburg claims Paul Tierney made an mistake in allowing Darwin Nunez’s last-gasp winner in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

    Forest’s players, bench and fans were furious after the substitute’s stoppage-time effort denied them a draw.

    Referee Tierney had stopped play before the build-up to the goal for an apparent head injury to Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate.

    The official blew with Forest in possession on the edge of Liverpool’s area and, after Konate had quickly recovered, Tierney dropped the ball to visiting goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who then started the move that led to the goal.

    Clattenburg, appointed to his role at Forest last month, said after the match: “The law states that, if the referee is going to stop the game – which he is entitled to for a head injury – the ball has to go back to the team that has possession. Nottingham Forest clearly had possession.

    “The laws of the game clearly state that, when the referee blows his whistle, the team that has possession should get possession when the game is started again.”

    Former Premier League referee Clattenburg added: “When Liverpool were given possession, they went on the attack and eventually scored from it.

    “It is another decision that has gone against Nottingham Forest… We just need to hope that this luck changes.”

    Forest’s players and staff surrounded Tierney at the final whistle, with coach Steven Reid shown a red card, while boss Nuno Espirito Santo refused to comment on the incident.

    Forest dismissed reports club owner Evangelos Marinakis had to be restrained after chasing Tierney down the tunnel after the final whistle, but said he did approach the official.

    Clattenburg added: “The owner is quite upset because, of course, he has invested a lot of money in the club. He wants to see results and he feels that another decision has gone against the club.

    “He is upset. Everyone at the club is upset that they have lost in this way.

    “As a club, Nottingham Forest feel as though there have been one or two decisions that have gone against them in the last few weeks.”

    Clattenburg said he would speak to the referees’ governing body, the PGMOL, about the incident.

    “With the relations I have with the PGMOL and the Premier League, we will discuss what has happened today and then plot what the next course of action is,” he said.

    “The law is clear. When you have possession outside of the penalty area, you get possession back.

    “In that crucial moment, Forest had the ball in the corner. They could have absorbed a bit of time and got the result, with the score at 0-0.”

    When asked if he had been in contact with Tierney after the game, Clattenburg added: “I have not spoken to him myself. I tried to go into the referee’s room and he would not allow me in.”

    The PGMOL declined to comment, while the PA news agency has also approached the Premier League for its response.

  • Late Lucas Digne goal sees Aston Villa snatch win over battling Luton Late Lucas Digne goal sees Aston Villa snatch win over battling Luton

    Aston Villa maintained their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League as substitute Lucas Digne headed an 89th-minute winner to defeat Luton 3-2 at Kenilworth Road.

    Unai Emery’s side looked to have thrown away two points, allowing Luton to fight back from two goals down in the second half, until Digne arrived at the far post to turn Moussa Diaby’s deep cross past Thomas Kaminski and into the net, in front of ecstatic away fans.

    The hosts had fought back bravely to level the game at 2-2, Tahith Chong and Carlton Morris scoring after a brace from Ollie Watkins had seemingly put Villa in control at the break.

    Defeat for Rob Edwards’ side was their fourth in a row, whilst Villa maintained their five-point lead over Tottenham in the race for the Champions League.

    Kaminski had been the home side’s hero in the opening quarter, first diving full stretch to turn away a right-footer from Jacob Ramsey, then yet more acrobatically when Watkins got in down the right and lashed one towards the near post, beaten behind brilliantly by the goalkeeper.

    Yet his endeavours were rendered in vain a minute later when from the resulting corner Watkins headed Villa in front. Leon Bailey’s ball arched invitingly into the six-yard box where the Villa striker had got free, and he used the space afford by slack Luton marking to rise up and direct the ball coolly past Kaminski into the top corner for his 20th goal of the season.

    Villa lost the influential Ramsey to injury on the half-hour mark, but it did little to break their confident stride. Watkins almost made it two 10 minutes before the break, standing up Teden Mengi on the right before knocking it round the defender and cracking a low shot off Kaminski’s far post.

    Luton had been warned about Watkins’ pace in behind but their high line continued to allow him space, and soon he had made good on his threat of a second.

    The defence had pushed up towards near the centre circle when Douglas Luiz lumped one over the top for Villa’s top scorer to stride on to. With no one in orange near him, he made light work of clipping Villa’s second goal in off the post. VAR checked for offside, but Watkins had timed his run perfectly.

    Edwards’ side emerged with renewed urgency after the break and the home support responded in kind, roaring their team on as they began to find success attacking down the right with the lively Issa Kabore.

    A goal to give them hope arrived after 66 minutes. Villa failed to deal with a corner, forcing Matt Cash into a desperate headed clearance off the line. Still the defence dithered, and as the ball ricocheted back into the six-yard box, Chong pounced to thump it home.

    Suddenly Villa were tottering. Six minutes later, their lead was gone and it was the simplest Luton goal.

    Alfie Doughty hit a huge, raking free-kick from near the touchline which sailed over everyone to the back post. Arriving unmarked with time to pick his spot was Morris, who timed his run expertly and with barely an upwards glance swept it beyond Martinez.

    Luton were now rampant and an almost identical move gave Morris the chance to win it, fractionally failing to make the required contact as the ball was flashed across goal from Doughty’s free-kick.

    They looked at least to have done enough for a point, but then came Digne’s dramatic intervention at the death to break Luton hearts and keep Villa in the Champions League driving seat.

  • Jurgen Klopp saw nothing wrong with Liverpool’s winning goal at Forest Jurgen Klopp saw nothing wrong with Liverpool’s winning goal at Forest

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted he saw nothing wrong with Darwin Nunez’s controversial stoppage-time winner at Nottingham Forest.

    Nunez marked his return from injury by heading home in the ninth minute of time added on to seal a 1-0 win, which lifted his side four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

    But the Uruguay international’s last-gasp effort left Forest’s players, staff and fans furious at the final whistle after referee Paul Tierney had stopped play before the build-up to Liverpool’s winner for an apparent head injury to Ibrahima Konate.

    Tierney blew with Forest in possession on the edge of Liverpool’s area and after Konate had quickly recovered, the official dropped the ball to visiting goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who then started the move that led to his side’s dramatic winner.

    Klopp said: “It happened exactly the same in the first half didn’t it? Exactly the same, just the other way round.

    “I accepted it would happen like that because it happened in the first half. If it didn’t happen in the first half, I would have asked the question as well.

    “I would assume that’s the rule, I don’t know. But because it happened twice and got handled exactly the same, I don’t really see their reasons for a discussion.”

    Earlier in the game, Tierney halted a Liverpool attack after Forest skipper Ryan Yates was felled by Harvey Elliott’s shot and play resumed with home goalkeeper Matz Sels taking possession.

    Klopp said: “I understand 100 per cent the excitement and the anger of Nottingham, of course, they fought for everything. But it happened twice the same and was consistent.”

    Nunez’s last-gasp effort secured Liverpool their first league win at the City Ground in almost 40 years and 14 matches to heap the pressure on Manchester City and Arsenal, who play on Sunday and Monday respectively.

    Klopp said it had been a huge effort from his injury-hit squad, who have registered six straight wins in all competitions, including last Sunday’s League Cup final win over Chelsea.

    “Four games in 11 days, come on. Five in 15,” Klopp added. “It’s really tough. With our squad situation it’s super-tough and how the boys fought through that is really special.

    “The fourth game was the toughest. It was an unbelievable effort the boys put in. A proper, proper shift.

    “If you had asked me 12 days ago if it was possible to win all four games, I’d have said no.”

    Forest’s players and staff surrounded Tierney at the final whistle, with coach Steven Reid shown a red card, while boss Nuno Espirito Santo refused to comment on the incident after the final whistle.

    Forest later dismissed reports that owner Evangelos Marinakis had chased Tierney down the tunnel.

    Nuno said: “I will not comment on the referee. We played a very good game against a very good team, fantastic players and manager and we limited them.

    “They had chances, we had chances, it was a good game of football. We had clear chances to do better, to improve. We should have been more clinical.

    “I’m proud of the boys because they worked very hard. They combined, they helped each other, they defend the box, they did two-on-ones – they did everything. But we can improve.”

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