‘I am a fighter’ – Emma Hayes lays down tactical blueprint for Chelsea Women’s Champions League challenge

Later today, at 4pm UK time and live on Chelsea TV and The 5th Stand app, Chelsea Women play European champions Lyon in France with a place in this year’s final at stake over this game and the return leg at Kingsmeadow next Sunday.

Manager Emma Hayes says her team this afternoon must both defend well and aim to score a goal, but adds:

‘To stay in the game is the priority. I believe in this competition you have to adapt to the game, to situations, to circumstances, to the opponents. Do that, otherwise you will be out.

‘So we have prepared the team to deal with any situation as it happens, and we believe we have the tactical application and understanding as a collective to be able to apply the principles but also to continue playing our game, because for us, we have so many qualities too that it is important that we show that in this game.

‘It is not about just staying in the game. We have top, top players who will want to produce a performance to show the good qualities that we have.’

Hayes explains that for her it is not a case of playing differently in the Champions League compared with the WSL. Each game is considered on its own merits.

‘I just do what I have to do to win,’ she explained. ‘I survive first, and that looks different in different moments. I am a fighter and I want to put my team in a position where they can stay in the game. That is so important.

‘So many teams when they play against Lyon, the game is over in 15 minutes, so the challenge for my team is to show resilience and determination but importantly the tactical application too, because we are playing against the top team in the world and if you don’t play with your head, then the game will be very, very difficult.’


More from chelsea