Women’s Champions League preview: Chelsea optimistic about reaching final

A place in the Women’s Champions League final is up for grabs today at Kingsmeadow and Emma Hayes’ squad have hope after scoring a potentially vital away goal, despite a narrow 2-1 loss in the first leg in Lyon...

Kick-off at Kingsmeadow, the home of Chelsea Women, is at 2pm. Tickets for the game are now sold out but you can still watch Emma Hayes’ side as the match is being shown live on The 5th Stand and Chelsea TV with coverage beginning at 1.45pm.

Here’s all the background information on the Blues biggest match of the season…

The first leg

Chelsea travelled to France on the Easter weekend for the first leg of the Women’s Champions League semi-final against holders Lyon. The match ended in a narrow 2-1 defeat, but the tie is still very much all to play for thanks to an away goal scored by Erin Cuthbert.

Our hosts broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark in very unlucky circumstances for Hayes’ side, and particularly Magdalena Eriksson, who diverted the ball past Ann-Katrin Berger while trying to block a cross. The Swedish international scored her second own-goal in eight days after suffering the same fate in the closing moments of our recent Women’s FA Cup semi-final defeat against Manchester City.

Lyon added salt to the wound 10 minutes later when they doubled their advantage. Dzsenifer Marozsan swung a corner in from the left into a crowded six-yard box. It took a faint touch off of Amadine Henry at the near post to help its way in. We had created opportunities and almost immediately after the second goal, had the chance to pull one back after Ramona Bachmann went down due to a challenge from Eugenie Le Sommer. The referee pointed to the spot and Kirby bravely stepped up but struck straight at Sarah Bouhaddi, which meant we went in at the break 2-0 down.

Hayes made a change to her side with 20 minutes left to play and brought fresh legs on up top. Beth England replaced Kirby and the striker made an instant impact when she came on. Ji So-Yun dinked a clever ball forward, England headed down into the pathway of Cuthbert who smashed a fine half-volley from the edge of the area which found the back of the net.

LYON (A) UWCL 18/19

Highlights from Chelsea FC Women's UEFA Women's Champions League Semi-Final match v Lyon.

Elsewhere in Europe

The other semi-final first leg between Bayern Munich and Barcelona took place last weekend and the Spanish side won 1-0 away. Vicky Losada, Barcelona’s captain, hit the crossbar in the first half but it was Kheira Hamraoui’s angled shot just past the hour point that proved to be the difference between the two teams. Munich were left frustrated as Sara Dabritz struck the woodwork with a 90th-minute free-kick. Both teams will aim to reach their first Women’s Champions League final when they come up against each other for the second leg at Barcelona’s home venue, Mini Estadi, which takes place prior to our second leg.

Blues views

Throughout the week, Chelsea Women players plus manager Hayes have been looking ahead to this game. Click to read Beth England’s thoughts on the competition.

Hayes and captain Karen Carney also spoke at Thursday’s media conference.

Captain Karen Carney at the pre-match media conference

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.

Fans at Kingsmeadow

Blues on the road

This is the final home match of the season for Chelsea Women, with two WSL away games remaining. First up we travel to Dorchester where we face league strugglers Yeovil Town Ladies and then we make a short trip to play Reading Women who are currently in fifth place in the league. We value the support and would love for as many Blues fans to see the season out with us!

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