The moment Anna breathed a sigh of relief

Bravery at the bridge

Chelsea FC
Anna Madden

Chelsea fan reporter Anna Madden charts the ups and downs of her side’s comeback – and her own emotions – to reach the quarter-finals

The build-up to this match had me feeling oddly reminiscent of the second leg against Real Madrid a year ago. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been as nervous. Only one goal stood between us and Dortmund; in theory, a whole lot simpler than going to the Bernabéu and attempting to overturn a 3-1 deficit.

Undoubtedly the first leg of this tie went a lot better compared to the first leg against Madrid. However, fortune wasn’t on our side so we left goal-less. As demoralising as it was coming home a goal down, I couldn’t help but feel cautiously optimistic. Throughout the 90 minutes at Dortmund, the boys played with a fire that encapsulates what it means to play in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

That fire from the first leg was brought back to the Bridge and, somehow, it had increased tenfold! The most important thing that the boys could do was put in the performance of a lifetime and that they did. Everyone was brilliant and we even managed to score – twice! Of course, goals are always celebrated emphatically, regardless of whether I’m watching from the Bridge or from my spot on the sofa. However, the elation I felt after these goals is almost indescribable. 

Raheem Sterling’s goal may not win any goal-of-the-season awards but to me, it was the most beautiful goal I have ever seen! With Kai Havertz’s goal came the realisation that we were ahead in the tie; for the next 40 minutes, I could barely breathe. I hadn’t dared think beyond this match in the weeks leading up to it; I didn’t want to risk a jinx. But now, with those two goals in the back of the net, we were almost there. Those final minutes were excruciating, as they always are when you’ve taken the lead.

The happiness on the pitch once the whistle blew was so palpable that it practically bled through the screen. It was clear that those boys played with pride for the badge as they took us to the final eight of the Champions League.

Our Champions Journalist fan reporter:
Anna Madden
Anna has been a fan of Chelsea since the age of eight and her favourite player from day one has been César Azpilicueta. She lives in Wales and when she’s not watching the football, she’ll probably have her head in a book.
About Champions Journalist fan reporters: These blogs have been written by winners of our annual Champions Journalist competition as well as a selection of editors from various fan page accounts. Together they offer their unique insights from the group stages all the way to the final.
Champions Journalist
With thanks to our Champions Journalist winner
Anna Madden
Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.