Chelsea Ladies' chances of reaching their first Women's Champions League final hang by a thread after their bogey team, Wolfsburg, fired three goals past them at Kingsmeadow in the first leg of the tie. It all started so well, with markswoman Fran Kirby providing the assist to let Ji So-Yun - playing her 100th game
Chelsea Ladies’ chances of reaching their first Women’s Champions League final hang by a thread after their bogey team, Wolfsburg, fired three goals past them at Kingsmeadow in the first leg of the tie.
It all started so well, with markswoman Fran Kirby providing the assist to let Ji So-Yun – playing her 100th game for the Blues, and playing with a strapped knee – fire Chelsea into the lead in the second minute, past the outstretched arm of the hapless German keeper Almuth Schult.
It was fast and furious for the first 10 minutes as the Blues attacked in force, but the German side rapidly overcame their shock, and Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir equalised in the 16th minute with a well-directed header.
Maren Mjelde unfortunately flicked in an own goal in the 27th minute, before a third strike clinched the tie in the second half – Lara Dickenmann’s volley evading Hedvig Lindahl and burying itself in the corner. The Chelsea keeper had the setting sun in her eyes, which made minding the net that much harder.
The task for Emma Hayes’ Chelsea is to score three times in the second leg in Germany on April 29 to have any chance of making the Champions League final in Kiev on May 20, the day after Chelsea men face Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United at Wembley in the FA Cup.
Wolfsburg are not only top of Germany’s domestic league, but also have a track record of defeating Chelsea Ladies in recent years, so it was always going to be a monumental challenge for the current Women’s Super League leaders.
In front of a record 3,329-crowd at Kingsmeadow, and watched by England manager Phil Neville, Chelsea’s perfect start melted away in the late afternoon sun.
Even when Eni Aluko (making her 150th Chelsea appearance) and Gemma Davison were brought on as subs, the Blues couldn’t find another goal to take to Germany for the second leg on Sunday April 29.
Additional reporting by Jane Grove