Dortmund top Chelsea; Benfica cruise against Brugge
Sports Desk, Feb 15 (EFE).- Chelsea fell 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund and Benfica thumped Club Brugge 2-0 Wednesday in the first legs of their respective Champions League round-of-16 ties.
The Blues had more of the ball and put eight shots on target to just two for the hosts at Signal Iduna Arena, but Karim Adeyemi’s goal in the 63rd minute and keeper Gregor Kobel’s great save to deny Enzo Fernandez in the final seconds gave Dortmund their first Champions League victory against an English side since 2014.
Chelsea paid the price for failing to make the most of the chances they created.
Joao Felix fired over the cross-bar from close range at the half-hour and then hit the bar seven minutes later.
Reece James won a free kick early in the second half and tested Kobel with his effort from just outside the box.
The Dortmund keeper tipped another strike from James over the bar in the 62nd minute, seconds before Adeyemi broke the deadlock with a goal on the counter after a Chelsea corner.
The visitors turned up the pressure, but Kobel proved equal to the task, stopping Kalidou Koulibaly in the 78th minute and 121-million-euro man Fernandez on the final sequence of the night.
In Bruges, Benfica were quick to seize the initiative from the hosts and went on to outshoot Brugge 14-4, but the Liga Portugal leaders squandered a trio of scoring chances in the first half.
And the home side appeared to take the lead in minute 45 from a free kick, only to see Dennis Odoi’s goal disallowed for offside.
Barely four minutes into the second half, Brugge’s Jack Hendry fouled Goncalo Ramos in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Keeper Simon Mignolet got a hand to Joao Mario’s shot, but couldn’t stop it and Benfica went up 1-0.
David Neres nailed down the triumph with a goal in the 88th minute as Benfica extended their unbeaten streak in Champions League to eight. EFE