Kai Havertz praised for penalty retake moment as Chelsea’s alternative taker revealed

Kai Havertz praised for penalty retake moment as Chelsea’s alternative taker revealed

Kai Havertz earned the praise of Joe Cole for holding his nerve to score his retaken penalty in Chelsea’s win over Borussia Dortmund despite having the option to pass up the spot-kick.

Tuesday’s Champions League clash was in the balance when the German struck the post from his second-half penalty, which was ordered to be retaken due to encroachment into the area by Borussia players.

Graham Potter revealed before the game that Havertz, 23, was Chelsea’s new elected penalty taker but Reece James was on hand for the second attempt after his miss.

Former Blues player Cole told BT Sport that he was impressed when the striker held onto the ball: “He has got a great habit Kai, in big moments, we've seen him score the winning goal in the Champions League.

“We watched, we had a great view from the studio and there was a little melee about who was going to take it.

“I think Raheem [Sterling] was there, Reece was there and [Havertz] grabbed it with real meaning and I thought, ‘Yeah, he's going to put this away’ - but to do the exact same technique was fantastic.”

Chelsea boss Potter confirmed after the 2-0 win that James had been put forward as the team’s second-choice taker, meaning he had a right to ask for the retake.

He said: “It was him or Reece, sometimes you have to let the lads on the pitch sort it, we've got confidence in Kai.”

Having come close with his first effort, Havertz described the retake as “a bit easier” despite his nerves as he went the same way and scored to seal the win.

“I don’t know anymore, I just thought, ‘Oh no’,” Havertz admitted when asked what he was thinking after the initial miss.

“But the referee let me retake the penalty. I was a bit nervous but at the end I scored and that was the most important. I tried to wait to look at the keeper and I saw that he was going to go again for that side. Obviously the second one was a bit easier.”