2022-23 UEFA Champions League, Round of 16
  • Karim Adeyemi (63')
1st Leg
1st Leg

Borussia Dortmund beat Chelsea on stellar Adeyemi goal

Dortmund players celebrate after scoring a goal against Chelsea in the Champions League. Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund beat Chelsea thanks to a stellar goal by Karim Adeyemi in their Champions League round of 16 first leg at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday night.

Chelsea, who had a new-look XI for the Champions League after a busy January transfer window and the return of some injured players, looked strong in the first half and saw Joao Felix miss a pair of chances to put his side in front during a scoreless opening 45 minutes.

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Germany international Adeyemi put Dortmund in front midway through the second half with a brilliant individual effort, picking up the ball at midfield, outrunning his marker, round Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal and slotting home for the lead.

The teams will meet again on March 7 at Stamford Bridge for the decisive second leg.

"We dominated the first half. They had chances, but we were in control for the majority of the first half," said Dortmund captain Jude Bellingham. "In the second half we took the foot off the gas and they had more control. We showed how well we can defend and see out games."

Big-spending Chelsea's efficiency in front of goal has been an issue for the Premier League club this season with only one win in 2023, and it was evident again.

They missed a number of good chances over the course of the game with Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel denying Enzo Fernandez in stoppage time to see out the result.

Graham Potter's side looked sharper at the start and Thiago Silva put the ball in the net after 16 minutes, but the Chelsea captain was penalised for a handball after he had tried to head in a cross.

Dortmund gradually found more space and hit the side netting through Sebastien Haller in the 27th.

The visitors, who spent more than $350 million on transfers during the winter window, responded with two big chances of their own to Felix, with the Portuguese also hitting the crossbar after beating Kobel.

Both teams had to wait until the second half to get their first shots on target, with Kobel punching a powerful Reece James free kick wide and Arrizabalaga stopping Julian Brandt's low drive.

But with Chelsea pushing for a goal and forcing another fine Kobel save, it was Dortmund who struck after 63 minutes.

Adeyemi picked up a clearance from a Chelsea corner and raced half the length of the pitch before beating Fernandez in the sprint and rounding Kepa to score.

"It's a poor goal. We have to do better. We were pushing at the time and we were the better team," Potter said after the game. "They [players] know they can do better with that. But we will focus on the positives. It was another step forward for us.

"The spirit is there in the team. We need a bit of luck and the performance level we had tonight and just keep improving."

The hosts had to survive late scares, with Kalidou Koulibaly's shot cleared off the line by Emre Can and Kobel again denying Fernandez deep in stoppage time before the German side secured their seventh consecutive win.