Match Report

Women leave it late in Barcelona friendly

A last-minute goal from Karen Carney earned Chelsea Women a draw against Barcelona in the Blues' second fixture of pre-season ahead of our return to action at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday.

Just as in Montpellier, where Emma Hayes' charges played on Thursday night, it was a blisteringly hot evening which greeted us in Spain for a meeting with the club which finished second in the women's Primera Liga last season.

We looked to be heading to a narrow defeat for the second game running after Barbara fired the home side ahead late on, but Carney's brilliant diving header with virtually the last action of the game ensured it was a positive result at the end of a useful contest against Champions League quality opponents.

Hayes rang the changes in terms of both personnel and shape, with Magda Eriksson, Karen Carney, Beth England, Ramona Bachmann and new signing Adelina Engman all brought into a starting line-up which switched from a back three to four at the back.

The home side had the first big chance of the game, hitting the post via a deflection of Millie Bright's knee, but the Blues grew stronger as the half went on and created two excellent chances.

The first saw Fran Kirby put a little too much on her pass as she attempted to set up Carney, and then on the stroke of half-time the latter turned creator to send an inviting ball across goal which just evaded Engman at the back post.
 

It was a similar story for our new Finnish signing after the break as she couldn't reach a teasing cross from England.

The inevitable changes that come with any pre-season friendly soon followed, as Hayes freshened up her side. Lizzie Durack replaced Hedvig Lindahl between the posts soon after the initial raft of substitutions, but her first action was to pick the ball out of the back. There was little she could do about the goal from Barbara as a snapshot from the edge of the box found the far corner.

It looked to be the winner, but Carney had other ideas after being picked out at the back post by a pinpoint cross from Erin Cuthbert in the last minute of stoppage time. The skipper for the night made no mistake with a wonderful header to prevent the Blues slipping to a second straight defeat.
 

The squad now head back to England tomorrow ahead of our final pre-season fixture, which takes place at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday night when we host Juventus.

Chelsea Women legend Eniola Aluko will be returning to her old ground with her new Italian club and you can buy tickets for the game here.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Lindahl (Durack 72); Carter, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson (Thorisdottir 65); Mjelde (Ingle 65), Carney (c), Engman; England (Cuthbert 65), Kirby (Ji 65), Bachmann (Spence 65)

 

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