Potter was under huge pressure after a dismal run of results following Chelsea’s huge outlay in the transfer market, but he will hope the manner of this performance and the advance into the latter stages of Europe’s elite competition will deliver a measure of calm and stability to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea fully deserved their win, although they squandered several big opportunities before Raheem Sterling made the breakthrough after 43 minutes, firing past Dortmund keeper Alexander Meyer after initially fluffing his shot.
The goal which settled the tie and overturned Dortmund’s 1-0 advantage from the first leg came in contentious fashion from the penalty spot eight minutes after the break.
Dortmund were furious when a VAR review penalised Marius Wolf for handball from Ben Chilwell’s cross and their sense of injustice heightened after Kai Havertz struck the post with his spot-kick only for a re-take to be ordered.
This time Havertz made no mistake and Chelsea were on their way into the last eight.
Is this lift-off for Potter?
Potter has struggled to convince Chelsea’s fans he has the personality required to take on this occasionally dysfunctional football beast and his cause has not been helped by poor Premier League form and a battle to establish any sort of shape and stability from the influx of players assembled at vast expense by new owner Todd Boehly.
The pressure was released somewhat with Saturday’s narrow win over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge but a big Champions League win against opponents of such European pedigree as Borussia Dortmund will go some way to convincing the doubters that Potter is cut out for the task.
There is still much work to do as Chelsea lie in a wholly unacceptable 10th place in the Premier League and two victories will not change the landscape instantly but there is no doubt Stamford Bridge felt like a much happier place when Dutch referee Danny Makkelie sounded his final whistle.
Potter will have been satisfied to see big performances from fit-again Reece James with Ben Chilwell also outstanding. And his former Brighton player Marc Cucurella also looked much more at home than he has before.
The scenes at the final whistle were a sharp contrast to many witnessed at Stamford Bridge this season with Potter punching the air in front of joyous Chelsea supporters as their Champions League journey continues.
Subdued Bellingham still shows class
All eyes were England teenager Jude Bellingham from the moment he arrived at Stamford Bridge, with waiting Chelsea fans making an instant sales pitch for the young star, who is expected to be pursued by every big club in Europe this summer.
This was not Bellingham’s best night as Dortmund’s Champions League campaign came to an end with the added disappointment of squandering a first-leg lead, but the 19-year-old still showed why he will be in such demand.
Bellingham’s night had low points, such as when he poked a great chance wide from eight yards in the second half and a very poor challenge in the closing seconds that left Reece James prostrate and brought a yellow card.
Bellingham trooped off at the final whistle and is likely to be playing his Champions League football elsewhere next season, but in little flashes he still showed what all the fuss is about.