Harder targets Continental Cup success

Pernille Harder praised the resilience and character shown by Chelsea Women after the Blues earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Manchester United.

Harder opened the scoring in the first half at Kingsmeadow but substitute Lauren James levelled for the visitors on the hour mark.

Despite the setback, Chelsea restored our lead just minutes later through Fran Kirby and Harder hailed the team’s ability to bounce back immediately following James’ equaliser.

‘I’m so delighted,’ said Harder afterwards. ‘It was a very big fight. Manchester United did good and they are a great team but we put a lot of energy into the game and it’s really nice to get the three points.

‘When we are faced with this sort of setback, we have to show character and we did that.

‘We had a great attack just after their goal, then we managed to get a goal just after that. It was really great character shown from the team.’

Sunday’s victory meant the Blues leapfrogged Casey Stoney’s side into first place in the Women’s Super League and Harder hopes to remain at the summit of the standings.

She added: ‘Most of the time, we take it one game at a time but when you meet the team that is on top then of course, after the game, you think that now we are top.

‘That’s where we want to be and hopefully it’s where we are going to stay for the rest of the season.’

While the aim for Harder is to stay at the top of the table, the Denmark skipper has also targeted Continental League Cup success.

Harder and her Blues team-mates travel to Manchester City on Wednesday for our quarter-final tie and while Harder is expecting another tough encounter, she highlighted a strong motivation to retain our Continental League Cup title.

She said: ‘We have a lot of tough games over the next month and it’s important we take one game at a time.

‘We now have Manchester in the Continental Cup and we are ready for that. We are ready to put in a good performance again and win that one too.

‘I wasn’t here last season so for me there is a lot of motivation to win it! But of course, in this team there is always the motivation to win titles.’