Analysis

Erin Cuthbert: Gamble paid off in Chelsea Women win

A late yellow card will keep her out of the second leg of Chelsea Women's Champions League quarter-final with Paris Saint-Germain, but Erin Cuthbert was delighted to make her mark on this tie at Kingsmeadow.

The Scotland international took her goal tally for the season into double figures when she slotted home a late goal which made it 2-0 to the Blues on the night, adding to a wonderful strike from Hannah Blundell 15 minutes earlier.

This time last year, Chelsea's No.22 was scoring an equally important effort in the closing stages of another quarter-final win over French opposition in Montpellier. She feels the current crop of players at Emma Hayes's disposal are even better equipped to go a step further in Europe.

'It shows where we've come in 12 months,' said Cuthbert, whose yellow card in stoppage time was her second in this season's competition. 'We've been training all year for this and we play like this domestically as well, but we all relish the big games. International players want to play in the big games.

'On the night we did excellently and we've shown that English clubs are a force to be reckoned with in Europe. We stuck to the game-plan and it was a really professional performance from us. I'm excited for the return leg.

'The second goal is very good, because taking a two-goal cushion to Paris is better than one. We know what to expect, we're nearly all international players, we've all played in this environment before. We're expecting a tough game, but we're just glad it's 2-0.'
 

Read: Hayes hails Chelsea Women’s courage and conviction after PSG win

As for her goal, which took her onto 10 for the season, Cuthbert paid tribute to the part played by Fran Kirby, who came off the bench shortly after half-time to make a big impact on the game.

'I knew Fran had a lot of legs in her, I knew she was going to drive at their defence, and I'm always encouraged by Emma to take a gamble, so I did that,' she said of her run in behind the defence. 'Fran played an excellent pass and I'm just delighted it hit the back of the net. It felt unbelievable.

'I had a chance in the first half that I was disappointed with, I thought I could have done better, so I'm just happy I managed to slot the second one away.'
 

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