Match Preview

Emma Hayes says there is more to come from her team at 'fortress' Kingsmeadow in second leg of Champions League

The Blues take on Lyon in the return leg of the Women’s Champions League on Sunday at Kingsmeadow and Hayes feels it’s crucial her team raise the bar to ensure we reach the final on 18 May in Budapest.

Tomorrow's game is live on The 5th Stand and Chelsea TV from 1.45pm.

Although the Blues are trailing 2-1 on aggregate from the away leg in France, Hayes is proud of her players' resilience and character shown when getting back into the semi-final tie.

‘I thought the team settled well into the game, but I thought defensive mistakes from the team resulted in goals which I was disappointed with.

‘We recovered well and the penalty miss prior to half-time gave the encouragement for the team to produce a much better second half performance which resulted in a fantastic away goal.’

Hayes made an important change of personnel in the latter stages of the match when Bethany England replaced Fran Kirby. England made an instant impact and played a key part in Erin Cuthbert’s sublime goal on the 72nd minute.

‘It’s important that all the players realise that they are valued when they come into the game. Beth has been brilliant this season, she made it difficult for their back two with her presence.

‘Spaces started to open up as Lyon tired and I thought we exploited that with a good amount of aggression. We created enough to perhaps get a second goal but I know that an away goal is absolutely crucial in this competition.’

Read: Bethany England says the team are raring to go against Lyon

With Sunday being one of the biggest games, if not the biggest game in Chelsea Women’s history, the manager hopes that the Blues faithful will be cheering and singing loud to help us along the way. She also insists there is more to come from her team.

‘We will go about our business in the same way that we do every week, we know that we have got to improve and there is more to come from us.

‘The challenge will be to raise that performance at home probably in front of a packed crowd because Lyon will come at us and throw everything they have got, so it’s crucial that we raise our level and do everything we can to get to the final. I want to challenge our fans and the players to make it so difficult for Lyon.

‘Kingsmeadow is such a fortress for us and I think collectively we know we’re going to suffer on Sunday but the best things in life are not easy. We are going to have to fight with everything we have.

‘Lyon have acknowledged that they weren’t the best and they are very confident that they will go to the final, so our team and our fans must do everything to stop that from happening,’ Hayes added.

The game is live on The 5th Stand and Chelsea TV from 1.45pm on Sunday.

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