Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes has dedicated Saturday’s FA Women’s Community Shield triumph to our supporters.
Millie Bright gave Blues fans watching from home something to cheer about when she fired a stunning 25-yard effort past Manchester City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck and into the top corner to give Hayes’ side a much-deserved lead deep into the second half.
Substitute Erin Cuthbert then sealed victory when she netted from close-range in stoppage time following good work from Maren Mjelde.
Read: Women’s Community Shield report
It was the first of this women’s contest since 2008 and the first to be played at Wembley, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fixture was played behind closed doors. The Chelsea boss devoted the victory to our supporters watching from home and speaking at full-time, she said: ‘We missed the fans. It felt odd to score a goal and hear my own voice and not the crowd behind me.
‘When you’ve got a group of people who follow you up and down the country, and it’s a growing group, I’m gutted for them.
‘I’m gutted that they couldn’t be here with us today and so that win is for you all back at home.
‘That’s my main message. That one, that one is for you.’
Playing in our first competitive fixture since our Continental Cup victory over Arsenal back in February, the Blues controlled large periods of the game and Hayes praised her team’s performance and the quality shown throughout the traditional curtain-raiser.
‘It was a really closely contested game in the first half and both teams had chances but I think in the second half we controlled it,’ she said.
‘The sending off helped but our quality going forward was the stand out and we showed good experience. It was a good professional performance from the team.’
It wasn’t only the performance of the team collectively that Hayes was pleased about as the Blues boss highlighted the efforts of goal scorer Bright.
‘What a player she is,’ she said. ‘She has got everything to keep on pushing her career and that goal is to no surprise to anyone in our environment.
‘I see that every day. It wasn’t a surprise to me. It might be to others but not to me.
‘That is what Millie Bright can do. She is the ultimate professional and she works so hard at all the things in her game to take her to the next level.
‘It’s no coincidence, it’s not an accident, that is very well rehearsed by her and I’m just over the moon because Millie is a top, top player.’
The Blues begin our 2020/21 campaign away to Manchester United on Sunday (6 September.) The match kicks off at 2.30pm and is being shown live on BT Sport.