Emma Hayes was happy to see her side reach the fifth round of the Women’s FA Cup but felt the game against Liverpool should have been more comfortable than it was.
The Blues saw off the challenge of the Reds at Kingsmeadow thanks to a 3-2 victory, with Sam Kerr netting a hat-trick for Chelsea.
Liverpool hit back and made it a nervy finish with Hayes praising the performance of our opponents but also feeling we should have put the game to bed a lot earlier.
‘I thought for 60 minutes we were outstanding,’ Hayes assessed. ‘I thought it was brilliant from the team and we were comfortable.
‘It’s a cup game though and when they got their first goal, which I thought was scrappy and really poorly defended by us, it changed the momentum of the game.
‘It became a lot of long-ball percentage football, which for me just turns it into a scrap. It become disorganised, chaotic and not fun to watch at times but we have to accept that sometimes teams can do this.
‘I thought we had enough chances to wrap the game up at 2-0, which we didn’t. Then at 3-1 we should have shut up shop, but we didn’t.
‘We’re through to the next round of the cup, which is the most important thing, but I think people need to stop thinking we will always have this domination because we are playing a strong opponent who are all professional footballers.
‘They’re very good at what they do and I thought in the last 35 minutes or so they executed what they do very well.’
Sam Kerr rightly took all the plaudits following her hat-trick and the head coach had nothing but positive things to say about the Australian.
‘Sam was brilliant, wasn’t she?’ Hayes stated with a wide grin.
‘She took her goals really well and actually, maybe could have added to her three. We could have been out of sight in this game.’
Hayes was also delighted to see Melanie Leupolz return to the pitch following a period away from the side after giving birth to her first child.
‘It’s brilliant,’ Hayes said of the German. ‘She needs time, which I think you could see, and it’s difficult for her to go back into a game like that
‘She’s doing everything she can, she’s probably not sleeping a lot, and she’s probably trying to figure all that out but we’re so delighted to have her back.’