Chelsea has booked its spot within the final 4 of the Champions League after beating eight-time champions Lyon in a shootout. The blues goalkeeper Ann Katrin-Berger turned the hero of the match after denying Lindsey Horan within the last spot kick. Emma Hayes’ group will subsequent meet Barcelona within the semi-finals.
CHELSEA 1-2 LYON (2-2 combination): The Blues accomplished a shocking comeback final evening at Stamford Bridge to achieve the semi-finals of the Ladies’s Champions League after they edged holders Lyon 4-3 on penalties.
Up subsequent, Chelsea will face 2021 Champions Barcelona within the final 4. The Blues should produce one other huge efficiency in opposition to the mighty Barcelona in the event that they need to advance to the ultimate.
Chelsea set for rematch in opposition to Barcelona within the semi-finals
It was an exciting finish to a two-legged tie on Thursday evening, with feelings everywhere in the pitch from each side. Eight-time champions Lyon held the Blues for 90 minutes and compelled further time after taking a slim 1-0 lead within the second half. Substitute Sara Debritz scored in further time to place Lyon forward, however their celebration was short-lived as Maren Mjelde transformed a penalty, following a VAR overview, and pushed the tie to penalties.
Within the ensuing shootout, Chelsea got here out on prime as Ann Katrin-Berger turned the hero after making two match-winning saves, together with saving the final spot kick from Lyon’s Lindsey Horan. Berger bolted to the nook flag in elation as her team-mates joined her in celebration for his or her monumental victory in opposition to the French facet, beating them 4-3 within the shootout.
Chelsea keeper Berger denied Horan to advance in final 4
Chelsea forwards Sam Kerr and Lauren James got here near opening the scoreboard however missed clear-cut alternatives within the first half, however the French facet didn’t take lengthy to punish the Blues as they levelled the tie on combination by Vanessa Gilles luxurious end on the 77th minute. Gilles capitalised on a free go from Lindsey Horan and squeezed the ball previous Chelsea’s German keeper Ann Katrin- Berger on the close to submit.
That took the match to further time, the place Chelsea misplaced their lead due to Lyon’s substitute Sara Dabritz’s dramatic end with simply ten minutes to go. However Blues No. 10, Lauren James, breathed life into the house followers after she was awarded a penalty following a detailed VAR overview that confirmed she was fouled contained in the field. She handed the penalty kick to Maren Mjelde; the Norwegian took the possibility and blasted it previous Lyon’s goalkeeper Endler to power a shootout. Chelsea got here out on prime within the shootout and superior to the subsequent spherical.
Lyon’s gamers and workers had been devastated after the match. This was their second quarterfinal loss after successful the title eight occasions, with their final victory coming in opposition to Barcelona in 2022. In the meantime, the house followers at Stamford Bridge had been elated as Chelsea booked their place within the semi-final. And because it stands, there can be two English golf equipment within the semi-finals for the primary time in 5 years.
Chelsea will now hope to avenge their defeat in opposition to Barcelona within the subsequent spherical, who beat them within the 2021 last in Gothenburg. Within the different fixture, Arsenal will lock horns with two-time champions Wolfsburg, which might arrange the mouth-watering prospect of an all-English finals.
Supervisor focus: Emma Hayes
Emma Hayes’ recognition has skyrocketed in west London since she took over because the membership’s supervisor in 2012. Her rise to the highest was by no means unsure. Nevertheless, the Chelsea boss has confronted her justifiable share of criticism for her European observe file, particularly the way in which their campaigns have ended.
In 2021, they got here in need of their maiden Champions League title after they had been thrashed 4-0 by a formidable Barcelona facet, whereas final season, Hayes’ group crashed out of the group stage of their last group recreation in opposition to Wolfsburg, shedding 4-0.
This season, nevertheless, Hayes’ group has been strong, and issues have began to accept them, as was evident of their latest outcomes. The match in opposition to Lyon was a mammoth process, however Hayes appeared much less bothered and managed to push the correct buttons when it was demanded. Her resolution to deploy Lauren James in a central function paid off successfully, because the Blues had been cussed in containing the mighty French facet, which allowed the forwards to dismantle their opposition with frequent counterattacks. Although their defence was breached ultimately, they remained resilient and finally got here out on prime.