Emma Hayes has won a lot with this Chelsea side. The Super Women’s Super League 3 times, the FA Cup 2 times, and the League Cup another 2 times. Even with all that she labeled Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final demolition of two-time winners Wolfsburg as her “most favorite win in charge”.
Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr, and Fran Kirby scored in a 3-0 away leg rout to send last year’s UEFA Champions League finalists out of the competition. Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr’s synergy has been compared to the legendary duo of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. It was on full display against the Germans.
“I’ve faced that opponent so many times and felt humiliated and lost, and I always thought they were the benchmark for women’s football alongside Lyon,” the Chelsea gaffer stated.
Indeed the one obvious piece of Silverware missing from Hayes’ collection is the UEFA Champions League and Wolfsburg has been the major stumbling block for the blues on their path to that title. They have lost 8 times to the Germans and 3 times the Germans have knocked them out of this competition since 2015. Talk about a bogey team. This was a testament to the progress of the side and it comes as a deep sigh of relief to the London Side.
Chelsea managed to secure a 2-1 first-leg win despite an uninspiring performance but the second leg showed the class of Hayes’ side. They defended expertly and attacked with precision, putting an immaculate and eye-catching performance. ‘For me what I wanted was a brave performance from the team. I had complete confidence that we would get the win but when the players crossed the line they had to deliver that. We had the belief from winning the first leg. We didn’t play well, we were probably 60 percent of what we are capable of. We reflected on what we needed to do, and we got all the details right.
‘I’m proud, but it is not enough, I want more,’ the ever-demanding boss said to the Chelsea website.
The most expensive female footballer Pernille Harder was in the thick of things. The former Wolfsburg star was decisive for the Blues. She sent a lovely pass that put Sam Kerr clean through but the Australian was brought down for a penalty. Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh was adjudged to have brought down Kerr inside the box, but replays suggested the contact started outside the area.
Harder scored from the spot sending Wolfsburg goalkeeper Katarzyna Kiedrzynek the wrong way. Sam Kerr doubled the lead after showing good hold-up play from a Sophie Ingle cross. Harder also scored in the first-leg and that is now 20 goals in all competitions for Samantha Kerr. Both goals came within a crazy five-minute spell within which Ewa Pajor missed an open goal.
Fran Kirby rounded off the scoring in the 81st minute to kill an already dead game. Wolfsburg won all of their four matches in the competition without conceding a goal on their way to the quarter-finals but Chelsea exorcised their demons to reach the competition’s semifinal stage for the third time since their debut in the competition in 2015/2016.
Chelsea will face Bayern Munich in the semifinals after the Bavarians defeated Rosengard. Bayern’s Frauen started the season in scintillating form winning 25 of their first 25 games this season. They are in first position in the German League with Wolfsburg behind them and they are no pushovers for the blues. That clash must wait now as Chelsea faces Birmingham City in the Women’s Super League on Sunday, April 4; kick-off at 12:30 pm while Bayern travels to Wolfsburg on Sunday for their DFB Pokal Frauen semifinal match.
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