Ladies reaction: Missing ingredients

Emma Hayes bemoaned the missed chances which led to Chelsea Ladies missing out on a spot in the Continental Tyres Cup final.

The Blues suffered our first domestic defeat of the season, as well as our maiden loss at Kingsmeadow, after Nadia Nadim scored the only goal of a pulsating semi-final against Manchester City.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Hayes and her players, as the visitors scored seconds after Fran Kirby saw a shot cleared off the line, and Hannah Blundell and Millie Bright both missed clear opportunities to send the tie into extra-time.

'In a game of few chances, we've had the best three,' said the manager. 'You work so hard to get yourself in good positions.

'In the first half, we should have gone 1-0 up and Man City went straight up the other end and scored on the counter. That's what has made them so clinical and I've got to credit them for that.

'When I see two chances flash across the box and they're tap-ins for us, really, that's going to be the difference between the two sides and that's why they're heading to the final.'

Despite creating the best chances of the match, Hayes felt her side's overall performance did not hit the high standards set this season.

'We've got players who can do dangerous things, but our possession out the back was poor and our hold-up play up top wasn't as good as it could be,' she said. 'When Erin Cuthbert came into the game I think she offered the threat down the side that the two strikers hadn't until that point. Ultimately, it's not about being at your best, it's about taking your chances. Regardless of possession and all the other stats, we've had the best three chances and we didn't finish them.'

Substitute Erin Cuthbert on the attack


Although the result did not go our way, it was a second Sunday in a row in which a Chelsea Ladies game at Kingsmeadow attracted over 2,500 supporters.

'I'm looking forward to more professionalism throughout the game, because then we will get more games like this week in, week out,' said Hayes. 'That's why you're getting 2,500 coming out to watch this – because the product is improving.'

The Ladies return to action on Sunday 28 January when we welcome Everton to Kingsmeadow. Kick-off is at 12.30pm.