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Blues get the win despite Wolfsburg chances, Chelsea – Wolfsburg, 2-1

Chelsea – Wolfsburg, 2-1. Chelsea managed to get a win despite being dominated by Wolfsburg in the first half. Goals from Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder gave Blues advantage before the return leg. Dominique Janssen scored from the spot for Wolfsburg.

1st half

In Budapest, where both legs will be played due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Chelsea started with high-press, but Wolfsburg got the chances. Fridolina Rolfo had a chance in the centre but Ann-Kathrin Berger dealt with the header. In 14th minute, Ewa Pajor played a one-two down the right and put it on a plate for Alexandra Popp who flicked it but hit the woodwork. Niamh Charles was first to the rebound and made a crucial clearance. Just a minute later, Popp found the net after a good cross from Svenja Huth, but the goal was disallowed because of Popp’s handball. But German champions were getting more and more dangerous. Rolfo had two shots from close range after her run in the box, but Berger saved both. Jonna Andersson cleared Ewa Pajor rebound off the line. Despite a territorial advantage and more possession, Chelsea could be happy that the score was still 0-0 after the first half.

2nd half

Wolfsburg continued strong in the 2nd half. The woodwork came to Chelsea’s rescue again when Ewa Pajor’s header bounced of the post after a cross from Huth. Against the run of play, Chelsea then scored the opener in the 55th minute. Fran Kirby threaded the ball through for Sam Kerr who went around the keeper and hit it into the far corner. But despite the goal, Wolfsburg kept pushing. In the 63rd minute, Popp sent a cross to the unmarked Rolfö at the far post, who tried with volley, but Berger came out again with a world-class save. Chelsea doubled their lead after a mistake from Wolfsburg’s defence. Sam Kerr slipped the ball to Pernille Harder who scored against her former club. In the 70th minute Wolfsburg got their well-deserved and very important away goal. Magda Eriksson brought down Svenja Huth in the box. Dominique Janssen stepped up and converted the penalty. In the injury time, we had chances on both sides but Berger and Kiedrzynek did their job and the final score remained 2-1.

Three of the Blues’ four previous campaigns have been ended by Wolfsburg. And despite numerous Wolfsburg’s chances, Chelsea got a win and advantage before the return leg, while Wolfsburg suffered their first defeat from a team other than Lyon since 2016.

Reactions

“I’m sad about the result right now as we had enough chances to score and maybe to win. That’s the negative. But I am proud of the team as I think they did an amazing job. Maybe we played our best game of the season.” – Stephan Lerch, Wolfsburg head coach

“I enjoyed it. We’ve closed the gap. They’re still a top team, unbelievable in the air, good down the side, unbelievable from restarts. The first leg is about staying in the tie.” – Emma Hayes, Chelsea’s head coach

Chelsea – Vfl Wolfsburg 2-1 (0-0) 

Scorers: 55′ Sam Kerr (C), 66′ Pernille Harder (C), 70′ Dominique Janssen (W) pen
Yellow cards: 16′ Alex Popp (W), 18′ Sara Doorsoun (W), 60′ Niamh Charles (C), 83′ Lena Oberdorf (W), 90+1′ Melanie Leupolz (C)

2nd leg on 31st of March at 14.00 CET

 

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