Women’s Champions League preview: Hannah Blundell predicts contrasting contest in France

Chelsea Women have the chance to progress to the semi-finals when we take on Paris St-Germain tomorrow, in a game live on Chelsea TV and The 5th Stand. Defender Hannah Blundell looks ahead to the match and there is also news of the latest England squad…

The most-significant goal of Hannah Blundell's Chelsea Women career means the Blues have an advantage to take to the French capital when we meet PSG in the second leg of our Champions League quarter-final.

A place in the semi-finals against Lyon or Wolfsburg is up for grabs when we make the short trip across the Channel for Wednesday’s game, with Emma Hayes's side protecting a two-goal lead after the first leg which was played in front of a packed Kingsmeadow.

The first of our goals came from the left boot of Blundell, who started her career in our Women’s first team playing down the left-hand side, before later being switched to her current position at right-back.

It was a looping effort that left Christiane Endler, a former Chelsea team-mate of Blundell's, with absolutely no chance and naturally the Blues No.3 was delighted with her strike.

'I don't score many of them,' she exclaimed. 'At half-time, Emma said, “We need to test the goalkeeper,” so I just thought I'd go for it. Thankfully it hit the back of the net. I'm an attacking full-back, so I get forward when I can and I try to score as many as possible.

'You can tell by my celebration how much it meant – I didn't really know what to do, I don't score many! I've been at this club since I was 17 and it means so much. The support was excellent and my family was here, too.'

Just as importantly, as her manager would certainly insist, we kept a clean sheet, which means an away goal in Paris will leave the home side needing to score four times to progress.

Blundell certainly played her part in that, getting the better of her direct opponent, Ashley Lawrence, across the 90 minutes as PSG only registered one shot on target.

'We all executed the game-plan brilliantly and we kept a clean sheet as well,' she said. 'It was a good contest between me and Lawrence. I knew she was a good player, very quick and tricky, but I know pace-wise I can keep up with her, so I just tried to keep her on the outside.'

Now the focus is on finishing the job in the French capital, but any fans expecting the Blues to sit back and defend what we've got may be in for a surprise.

'It's going to be a completely different contest in Paris,' said Blundell. 'We need to get an away goal, really, we're not really the team to shut up shop, but Emma knows what we're going to do and we'll work on it in training.

'We know what to expect in Paris, but we're just going to focus on the game and make sure we get the win.'

Four of Blundell's Chelsea team-mates have been selected for the England Women’s squad for matches against Canada on Friday 5 April and Spain on Tuesday 9 April.

They are Carly Telford, Karen Carney, Fran Kirby and Millie Bright, who returns for England having missed the SheBelieves Cup as part of her rehabilitation from injury.  


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