Chelsea Women are in France and up against Lyon today [Sunday] with the aim of reaching the Champions League final. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match, which is live on Chelsea TV and The 5th Stand app…
Manager Emma Hayes says there is no denying we must perform at our absolute best for the duration of the 180 minutes to be in with a chance of making it to the final, for the first time in our history. The Blues opponents are the powerhouse of women’s European football and will be hoping for their fourth straight Champions League title, sixth overall and eighth final.
Hayes’ side go into our second consecutive Champions League semi-final tie in a row after eliminating last season’s finalists Paris Saint-Germain in spectacular style. The first leg, which was held at Kingsmeadow, ended in us taking a comfortable two-goal advantage to the French capital, courtesy of Hannah Blundell’s left-footed powerful strike and Erin Cuthbert’s composed finish. The second meeting could not have been any more different to the first, after PSG levelled the scoring with two early second-half goals to cancel out our lead. Therefore, extra-time was looking likely until Maren Mjelde saved the day by striking an incredible volley during injury-time to send us through.
Last Sunday, the Blues defence of the Women’s FA Cup came to an end at the semi-final stage when we suffered a disappointing loss in the North-West against rivals Manchester City, through an unfortunate own-goal in stoppage time. However, there is no time to dwell, we will be looking to cause an upset against the French giants to move us one step closer to clinching the European trophy in Budapest on Saturday 18 May.
OL are favourites to lift the Champions League trophy having won it for three consecutive years. The current holders qualified for this season’s semi-final by dispatching Wolfsburg 6-3 on aggregate in the previous round last month. In the first leg, Eugénie Le Sommer and Wendie Renard put the holders 2-0 up after 18 minutes and Wolfsburg pulled one back when Nilla Fischer headed in a free-kick with 26 minutes left to play.
A Dzsenifer Marozsan free-kick and Renard penalty put Lyon 2-0 up at the break in the second leg, but their lead looked fragile when Pernille Harder scored twice in four minutes early on the second half. However, Le Sommer soon responded, to become only the eighth player to net 40 goals in this competition, and she struck again late on to ensure that Lyon progressed to the next round.
The D1 Feminine side are set to win their 13th straight league title and made a huge statement last weekend when they produced an incredible 5-0 victory against PSG in front of a crowd of 25,907, a record attendance for women’s football match in France.
The other semi-final fixture
Bayern Munich and Barcelona are the other remaining semi-finalists and will be battling it out for a place in their first Champions League final. Bayern saw off Slavia Prague 6-2 on aggregate, while Barcelona came away with a 4-0 win on aggregate against Norwegian side LSK Kvinner in the quarter-final.
How to follow
This afternoon’s match will be shown live for free on The 5th Stand and will also be on Chelsea TV.
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 behind-the-scenes footage on our Instagram Story. Simply search 'ChelseaFCW' on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all content.
Second leg at the home of Chelsea Women
Next Sunday (April 28) will be your final opportunity to support the Blues at home as we welcome Lyon to Kingsmeadow for the second leg of the contest. Kick-off is 2pm and free tickets are available for concessions, with entry for all other supporters being just £6. Tickets can be purchased via our online ticket or at the gate on the match day.