Near the banks of the River Seine tonight, Emma Hayes’s players aim to build on their first-leg advantage and make the last four in Europe for a second year in a row…
HOW TO FOLLOW
Tonight’s game will be shown live and free on The 5th Stand. It is available as well on Chelsea TV. Former Chelsea Women star Claire Rafferty will be co-commentator.
You can also follow the action via our social media channels. There will be live text commentary on our Twitter page, regular updates on Facebook and for behind-the-scenes footage, make sure you check out our matchday Instagram Story. Simply search 'ChelseaFCW' on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Click to download the 5th Stand
Chelsea Women are taking a two-goal advantage into the second leg of this Champions League quarter-final after Hannah Blundell's left-footed stunner and a composed finish by Erin Cuthbert won the first meeting.
Having defeated Sarajevo and Fiorentina in the first two rounds by a combined aggregate score of 18-0, it was clear from the first whistle that we were facing an entirely different calibre of opposition, not too dissimilar from what we came up against last term when facing German giants Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg.
That certainly showed throughout a cagey opening 45 minutes, but the Blues played this first leg to perfection in front of a big crowd at Kingsmeadow. Having defended stoically throughout, we burst into life as the game reached its closing stages and Blundell netted a wonderful opener, her fourth of the season, to put us in the ascendancy. When Cuthbert scored in the final few minutes, it added gloss to another wonderful European night in KT1 – but as Emma Hayes has made perfectly clear, the job is only half done.
There was a well-known interested spectator too.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Blues boss Hayes was obviously delighted to see her team secure a two-goal lead going into this second leg, but she certainly isn’t making any plans for the semi-final just yet.
‘I would not say that 2-0 is comfortable,’ said the manager, whose side have progressed from all six of the previous ties when leading after the first leg.
‘There will be 15,000 people in the stadium in Paris and I expect it will be quite hostile. We will have to go through difficult moments like we did again Bayern Munich last year. Experience matters in this competition and I will keep reminding the team that with wounds, you gain wisdom.
‘We are always competitive and progressing. The team is much further ahead than it was 12 months ago.’
ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE
Blundell was not the only Englishwoman to hit the back of the net in the first leg of the quarter-finals. Barcelona have one foot in the last four courtesy of a double from England’s Toni Duggan, which helped them overcome LSK Kvinner. The winner of that tie will take on Slavia Prague or Bayern Munich, who are both eyeing their first semi-final in the competition. The Czech side head to the German city level at 1-1 after the first leg in Prague was played in front of a record crowd for a Women’s Champions League game in the Czech Republic.
The tie all Blues fans will have their eye on, however, is taking place elsewhere in Germany, with the winners due to face us or PSG next. Wolfsburg host Lyon, looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg after a crowd of 17,480 cheered the reigning champions onto victory at Stade de Lyon.
Eugenie Le Sommer and Wendie Renard put the holders 2-0 up after 18 minutes, but Wolfsburg's hopes of avenging defeats in 2016 and 2018 were boosted when Nilla Fischer headed in a free-kick with 26 minutes left.
REMAINING UWCL DATES
Should the Blues emerge victorious from our tie, the two legs of the semi-final are scheduled to be played on consecutive weekends: 20/21 April and 27/28 April. Then, the final, which is being held in Budapest, Hungary, takes place on Saturday 18 May.
HALF-PRICE AT KINGSMEADOW
You can see Chelsea Women in our last home league game of the season this Sunday when we take on West Ham United – and all tickets are half-price! You can enjoy a day out with the family and watch world-class women’s football, while early arrivals can enjoy the Vitality Football Festival from 11am.
Tickets for Sunday's game are available online priced at just £3 adults and £1.50 juniors/seniors, while a limited number will be available on the day.
- Click to download The 5th Stand for free live coverage of tonight's game.