Potter in awe of Havertz as Sterling says Chelsea match-winner 'knew exactly what he was doing'
Raheem Sterling had full confidence in Kai Havertz's ability to convert a penalty at the second time of asking, even if Chelsea boss Graham Potter could not bring himself to watch.
Havertz needed two stabs at a second-half penalty against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday but kept his nerve on the retake to send the Blues into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win.
The Germany international hit the post with his first attempt, but referee Danny Makkelie ordered the spot-kick to be retaken after the VAR adjudged Salih Ozcan to have encroached before Havertz struck the ball.
On his second attempt, Havertz sent the ball the same way as on his first, though this time found the bottom-right corner.
Havertz conceded he was nervous stepping up to the spot for a second time, Sterling – who opened the scoring just before half-time at Stamford Bridge – had no doubt in his team-mate.
Asked if he considered putting himself forward to take over spot-kick duties, Sterling told BT Sport: "The second time definitely, but I've seen Kai shoot penalties so many times in training and bro, I was so confident.
"Even though he missed the first one, he knew exactly what he was doing, he was confident and we knew he was going to put it in the back of the net."
It was perhaps not the same for Chelsea coach Potter, who was unable to bring himself to watch Havertz's second attempt.
"After the first one, I stood up and watched it. So I said 'no, I’m going to sit down now'. Just listened to the crowd and thankfully the noise was there," Potter said on BT Sport.
Asked how much he knew of the controversial decision to award a retake, Potter said: "I knew they’d encroached – our assistant, who's better than the rules than me, explained it. So we got a little bit of luck there, I guess."
While he might not have had the nerve to watch the second spot-kick, Potter was full of admiration for Havertz.
He added: "It was him or Reece [James], to be honest. Sometimes they have to feel it on the pitch.
"Obviously we have confidence in Kai. I wasn't watching it but I was delighted when I heard the roar. Taking penalties is not for me, so I am in awe of anybody [who does]."
Chelsea have now won their last two matches, following a run of just one victory in 11 games.
"We have to [build on it]," said Havertz. "The last few weeks, we lost a lot of games, but the Champions League is an important tournament, the last one we're in, so we have to give everything for that.
"Today we showed character, showed we want to win this competition again. Now we have to also win games in the Premier League."
Sterling said: "It was a massive performance, we had to dig deep, we took our chances. Recently we haven't had the luck, but we felt as a team we knew we could do it. Kai did it in the end."