Match Preview

Women’s preview: Back to league action for the Blues

Chelsea Women return to Women’s Super League action after a month’s absence due to the international break, our FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and our Champions league semi-final against Lyon. With just two matches remaining in the domestic campaign, we make the journey to Somerset to take on Yeovil tonight (7.45pm kick-off) at Huish Park.

Here is all the information you need ahead of the game…

The form

The Blues last WSL fixture was on Sunday 31 March when West Ham held us to a 1-1 draw when ex-Chelsea player Gilly Flaherty cancelled out Bethany England’s first-half goal. Since then, Emma Hayes’ side have been extremely busy with the cups when the Blues’ defence of the Women’s FA Cup came to an end at the semi-final stage, after an unfortunate own-goal in stoppage time condemned us, even though we had the better chances. Manchester City are the 2019 Women’s FA Cup winners after beating West Ham 3-0 on Saturday at Wembley.

With that defeat and the league looking out of reach, our focus quickly shifted to the Women’s Champions League and for the second successive year we had progressed to the semi-final stage. One week later we travelled to France to play the first leg of the semi-final against the reigning champions Lyon in front of a crowd of over 20,000 at Groupama Stadium, which is due to host the Women’s World Cup final. We were 2-0 down at the interval and like the week before, we went behind to an own-goal scored by Magda Eriksson. Then a sloppy goal was conceded from a corner. However with approximately 20 minutes left to play, Erin Cuthbert restored hope after she netted a half-volley from the edge of the area.

The return fixture was arguably the biggest fixture in Chelsea Women’s history, as we hosted Lyon in front of a record crowd for Kingsmeadow of 4,670. Just like the first leg we found ourselves trailing after Eugenie Le Sommer’s shot took a deflection on its way in. However, it did not take long for us to restore parity when Ji So-Yun curled home a spectacular free-kick to put us level at half-time. Although we had the better chances in the second half and pushed Lyon to the wire, we ran out of time and our dream came to a disappointing end. The current holders went through to their third consecutive final after the match finished 1-1 and 3-2 on aggregate.

 

Yeovil are bottom of the league in the English top flight having won two games this season and they have confirmed that they will be competing in the Women’s Championship next season after a 10-point deduction was imposed due to financial difficulties. Lee Burch’s side now have nothing to lose and aim to finish their top-flight journey in celebration at Yeovil Town’s main stadium, Huish Park, in front of as many fans as possible this evening. With the surge of attendance levels in women’s football throughout Europe recently, Yeovil hope to surpass the club’s record attendance of 1,897 from their first fixture as a WSL side against Liverpool back in 2017.

The Glovers' 41-game run without a victory was brought to an end when they recorded their first-ever WSL win in November against Everton. Yeovil’s centre-back Hannah Short smashed a long-range shot on target to seal the three points. In the reverse fixture at the end of March, Yeovil managed to bag their second win of the season when Megan Alexander scored with a cross that deceived the Toffees' goalkeeper.

How to follow

Those who are not attending can keep up to date with the matchday experience 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.
 

Previous meetings

This will be our third game against Yeovil in this 2018/19 season, with it being the seventh in total. We hosted Yeovil in April 2017 for the first time at our old ground Wheatsheaf Park in the Spring Series and we ran out 6-0 winners. Ji netted a quick-fire brace before half-time, Drew Spence hit the target, as did WSL debutants Ramona Bachmann, Erin Cuthbert and Crystal Dunn.

It was a similar story when we hosted the Glovers at our current home in Kingston-Upon-Thames in October 2017 when Eniola Aluko, Karen Carney and Dunn netted a brace apiece. The third and final meeting of that season was in the Continental Tyres Cup group stage and we took a 4-0 lead at the break courtesy of Dunn hitting the target, an own-goal, Cuthbert’s super strike and Spence’s tidy finish. After the interval Cuthbert finished well to make it five before Kirby netted the sixth. Late goals from Davison and Spence put the finishing touch on an emphatic victory.

The last time we travelled to Huish Park was in February 2018 and Yeovil frustrated us for an hour before Kirby came off of the bench and made an instant impact to put us in front, which was followed by a goal from Jonna Andersson which was set up by Kirby.
 

This season we have met the Glovers twice in quick succession when we hosted them in a space of a fortnight or so. The first victory came in the WSL when we put five past them with five different players finding the net. Millie Bright put us ahead after 20 minutes when she finished smartly from close range. Ji extended our lead and our third and fourth came with minutes left of the first half; Cuthbert netted an absolute cracker and Bachmann was given time to turn in the box and finish into the far corner. England got her name on the score sheet in the final stages of the match with a thumping left-footed strike.

The most recent encounter against Lee Burch’s side was at the start of December when the Blues recorded a 7-0 win which booked our spot in the quarter-finals of the Continental Tyres League Cup. Adelina Engman slotted home from close range early on and three more goals followed in the first half. Our advantage was doubled by Spence who met Carney’s cross with a diving header. England had fired home at the far post and before the half was out Yeovil netted an own-goal. The second half continued in the same manner as the first and Spence got her second of the night after Engman passed to the no.24 to poke home. Cuthbert joined in on the action when she curled a stunning free-kick past the goalkeeper and two minutes later England added her second to round off a commanding home victory for the Blues.

Next up

Our final WSL fixture of the season takes place on Saturday 11 May against fifth-place Reading Women at Adams Park in High Wycombe, with a 12.30pm kick-off.

We are running a return coach service, costing just £10, but limited spaces are available.

Click here for further information and how to book your place.
 

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