Centre-back Millie Bright believes her mighty Wembley opener in our Community Shield triumph against Manchester City was the best goal of her career so far.
While Chelsea’s attackers created as many intricate chances as we could realistically have hoped for against one of our strongest rivals, sometimes you just need a defender to bang in an absolute beauty.
That is exactly what Bright brought the Blues in Saturday’s season curtain-raiser, right when less optimistic supporters might have been beginning to wonder whether it was going to be one of those days at Wembley.
With the score somehow still 0-0 despite our impressive counter-attacking display, our centre-half took matters into her own hands, striding into midfield to receive a pass from Ji So-Yun and sending it soaring into the top corner from 25 yards.
'I think that’s my best one so far. I did have one against City away a few years back which was pretty decent,' said Bright, who is known for her modesty, 'but yeah, I think this one is better and, obviously, what an amazing stadium to do it at.'
Speaking straight after the game, Bright said she felt it was all too fresh for her appreciate the momentous part she played, yet had Erin Cuthbert not scored an excellent second in stoppage time, her goal would have been a worthy winner, perfect for the first time Wembley hosted the Women’s Community Shield.
'I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet, but I’ll have a look back at it later – obviously, you’re just in the moment,' she admitted.
Nonetheless, as much as wondergoals feel like pieces of pure magic, Bright was clear that her strike is the product of hard work on the training ground, as well as the artistic license given to the team by the manager Emma Hayes.
'You do work on those things quite a lot. Especially whenever I get the ball from Ji, she’s always encouraging me to shoot.
'We don't go by players’ positions. If you’re in the right area, obviously that’s your chance to take the shot. We always try to put players in those kinds of areas, so fortunately it was my day today,' she explained.
Though, at the time, she could not quite comprehend the scale of her individual accomplishment, Bright is well aware of the significance of her goal for the flow of the game, moments after Man City had Jill Scott sent off for a second yellow card.
'In these sorts of games, it’s just about remaining patient,' the 27-year-old said. 'Frustration can creep in, but I think we were really good at staying calm and sticking to our game-plan and just waiting for that right opportunity to put it in the back of the net, so I'm just grateful that I managed to do that for the team.
'We always had the belief that we could get a goal in the end. We knew that we deserved the win – we had so many chances. We just needed to get that first goal.'Read: Emma Hayes thoughts on Millie Bright's goal
Bright is also in no doubt about the significance of the victory overall, with the Blues lifting our first silverware of the campaign and again proving we can outplay the FA Cup holders, at the expense of whom we were awarded last year’s Women’s Super League title on points per game.
'It's massive. It's about a statement, not just a trophy,' she insisted. 'Obviously, it's about winning and getting that first trophy, but it's a statement to the rest of the league really.
'We've never won the Double and come back and won it again. In the past, we've always fallen short, so it's a statement that we're back and we're even better.
'I think we've had a really good pre-season. Obviously, coming off the back of what everyone suffered, it's not easy, but we've put our heads down. We've worked so hard. The staff have been unbelievable at putting us in the best shape to be able to cope with 90 minutes and feel like we could even go on and play more than that, so it's difficult, but it's important that we got the pre-season right.
'We've recruited, we're even stronger as a squad. I think getting that first win, that first trophy, it sets you up for the season. That's our standard now and we don't want to drop that.'
Bright and the rest of the rest of the Blues will be hoping to pick up where they left off in our opening Women's Super League fixture away to Manchester United on Sunday 6 September, which will be live on BT Sport.