Midfielder Sophie Ingle discusses the team’s game management in France and hopes for a big atmosphere in the rematch…
She anchored the midfield in Chelsea Women’s solid showing in the first leg of our semi-final in the Champions League, and now she is very much looking forward to a special Kingsmeadow afternoon on Sunday.
Sophie Ingle, the experienced international captain for Wales, is playing in her first Champions League campaign for the Blues having rejoined the club ahead of this season, and the opportunity is there to make the final having returned from reigning European champions Lyon 2-1 behind in the tie.
There was plenty about the game in France to indicate Emma Hayes’ side can cause our opponents problems when they play in south-west London this weekend. It certainly appeared we had benefitted from the experience of the previous round when we were put under plenty of pressure in Paris but still emerged victorious. Against Lyon, it was a more measured display.
‘We had a lot of the ball and we had more than the one chance we did score, so that is great against the champions from last year,’ observes Ingle. ‘Coming away from home, that is a tough thing to do in this stadium and with the crowd they had.
‘The away leg in Paris, that was tough and they came at us. They had to I suppose but against Lyon we showed composure when we needed to but we also moved the ball fast at times. Then we slowed it down at times when we needed to do that, so I thought we managed the game really well.
‘We had chances before the goal we scored and it would have been great to finish one of those off and get two away goals but we are happy with an away goal against Lyon.’
Sunday’s attendance of over 22,000 in Lyon’s main stadium is the largest for any Women’s Champions League game except the final.
‘It was really good,’ says Ingle. ‘You could hear the crowd chanting all the time for Lyon, that gives you a bit more momentum because you know they are against you so you have to push that much harder.
‘We even had some fans in Lyon that travelled over which was great for us, we can’t thank them enough, so hopefully they can create a big atmosphere for us at home.’
Sunday’s second leg, which kicks off at 2pm, had sold out but a few returned tickets are now back on sale.
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- If you can't make the game, it will be live on Chelsea TV and The 5th Stand