Harder: Win gives the team confidence ahead of busy fixture schedule

Hat-trick hero Pernille Harder has her sights set on retaining the Continental Tyres League Cup for the third year in a row as Chelsea FC Women progressed to the semi-final of the competition on Wednesday evening.

A hat-trick from Harder and a header from Erin Cuthbert ensured Emma Hayes’ side safely progressed through to the semi-final, where we will host Manchester United at Kingsmeadow on either Wednesday 2 or Thursday 3 February.

The Danish international was particularly pleased with the Blues’ second-half performance on Wednesday evening, which saw us score three goals in eight minutes.

‘I think we showed how we can play football in the second half! The first half wasn’t good from us but we had a good talk at half-time and we played more freely in the second half, we had a lot of movement and we played some good football.’

Wednesday’s game was the first time the Blues had been back in action since 16 December. Harder explains the emotions going into that game.

‘It was so nice, we all were a little bit nervous to start and I think that might explain the first half. It was really nice, it was fun to play as we had missed it!’

We took the lead in the first half on Wednesday evening with a stunning counter-attacking move and Harder was full of praise for her teammates for setting up the goal, particularly Fran Kirby who unselfishly squared the ball when she could have gone for glory herself.

‘That’s a Fran assist! I think she makes a lot of those types of assists. It was a great run from her, she got a good pass from Jessie [Fleming] then it was a great pass to me and I just had to put it in, it was one of the easy ones for me!

‘It’s really nice, it’s a title we want to win so being in the semi-final is important. We feel good after the second half, we can get some confidence from that and just build on.’

Next up the Blues face Brighton & Hove Albion away in Women’s Super League action on Sunday afternoon at 12.30pm. Fans can watch our clash against the Seagulls live on BBC as Hayes’ side will look to build on Wednesday’s win.

More from chelsea