Reece James aims subtle jibe at Jude Bellingham and Dortmund after Chelsea Champions League win


Chelsea star Reece James was a welcome return for Graham Potter as he played a key role in helping the Blues qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals. Their last-16 opponents Borussia Dortmund won the first leg in Germany by a single goal, but in the return fixture at Stamford Bridge Chelsea scored twice without reply to seal their spot in the next round.

Heading into the clash, James was a slight doubt after missing the weekend victory over Leeds with tightness in his hamstring. In his pre-Dortmund press conference , Potter confirmed a decision would be made regarding James on the day of the game and despite some concern, James was named in the starting XI and would go on to play the full 90 minutes.

Since his return from injury in early February, Chelsea fans have rarely seen the explosive James they have come to know and love. However, under the lights in west London he and fellow buccaneering wing-back Ben Chilwell were at their very best.

"The players were tremendous, the supporters were tremendous," Potter admitted after the game . "You have to be against a team that are doing so well – 10 games on the bounce, winning. But I think over the two games we deserved to go through. I think we played a good game in Dortmund but we didn't score, but today we did. It was a special night."

As Potter referenced, Dortmund had been on an incredible winning run in 2023 - quite the opposite of Chelsea - having not lost in any competition since November 11 until they came to London. In Champions League action, Dortmund have notoriously struggled in England and despite their recent differing fortunes in comparison to Chelsea, they were unable to break that unwanted trend on Tuesday evening.

While many Chelsea stars took to social media to celebrate the victory, James had slightly other ideas. The England international tweeted:

"11 out of 12 ain’t bad… Welcome to Stamford Bridge."

His post appears to be in reference to Chelsea ending Dortmund's winning run with that defeat for Edin Terzic's side meaning they have won 11 of their last 12. The message could also have been directed at Jude Bellingham after James was left in a heap on the floor by his frustrated national teammate late into the contest.

Bellingham is eagerly-wanted by many top European clubs including Chelsea as he looks set to leave Dortmund at the end of the season. The pair shared a brief word after the collision with Blues supporters likely hoping James told him there would be no issues as long as he signs for Chelsea in the summer.

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