Graham Potter experienced a mixture of emotions after watching his Chelsea side produce a statement victory against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Pride for his players. Delight at the quality of the performance. Happiness for and gratitude to the supporters. Nights like this might have been in short supply this season, but the Blues delivered when it mattered most to book our place in the quarter-finals of a competition we have won twice before.
The manner of the turnaround and the stage on which it was delivered led Potter to describe the night as one of the best of his managerial career, and certainly the highlight of his time at Chelsea. No wonder he was so thrilled afterwards!
‘It was a fantastic atmosphere, a fantastic evening,’ the head coach beamed.
‘The players were tremendous, the supporters were tremendous. It’s a fantastic result on such a big night and I’m just so proud of the players.
‘We played really well and we created a lot of good opportunities. I think over the two games we did enough to win the tie, but we still had to get the job done, which we did.
‘I’m just delighted for the players that we could get the win and thrilled for everyone here in the stadium tonight. It was a special night and I’m really pleased that the supporters could enjoy a night like that. A big thanks to them, they were amazing.
‘It was a passionate evening. Stamford Bridge was rocking, and our performance helped that. We pressed high, we won tackles, we were organised, and we played some decent stuff against a top team. We’re really happy to go through.’
Potter explained why he didn’t see the decisive goal
‘I watched Kai’s first penalty but for the second one, I just thought I’ll sit down and listen to the crowd noise!
‘I’m not sure why I did that really, superstition perhaps, but as soon as I heard the noise lift from the crowd then I knew it was safe to look.
‘We were confident in Kai, he’s our penalty taker and he showed that he’s a player for the big moments by scoring in such a pressure situation.’
Potter also had words of praise for the other scorer, Raheem Sterling
‘I thought Raheem alongside Kai was excellent and I was really pleased for him too. He played a slightly different role, but I thought he was really effective, and he caused their backline a lot of problems.
‘Raheem’s a goalscorer and has plenty of experience in this competition, so we just felt that if we could get him and Kai into those attacking areas then we could have some joy in front of goal and thankfully those two both scored.
‘Overall, it was a great team performance, and we’re through to the quarter-finals which is the next step for us.’
Marc Cucurella was named Player of the Match after a run out of the team
‘I’m delighted for him. When you’re having a bad time like we’ve had, you accept the criticism, and you have to deal with it. Marc has dealt with it well. We’ve tried to shield him a little bit in the sense of picking his moment.
‘Regardless of his situation, with Benoit not available I thought he would give us that left-footed balance in the back three, and he put in a top performance.’