Chelsea’s second match in the group stage of the Women’s Champions League, against Albanian league champions KF Vllaznia, was not expected to be as big of a challenge as meeting Paris Saint-Germain away. We would soon be proved correct in our predictions as the Blues, hosting the match at Kingsmeadow, had no trouble keeping the ball in the opposition’s half and create a bunch of chances as a result.
It would take only 10 minutes for Chelsea to score the opener via Sam Kerr. Pernille Harder found her free in the area to strike it over and past the opposing goalkeeper, and so the lead was ours very early into the match.
A little over 25 minutes later and Kerr would get a brace. A routine goal for the Australian striker, assisted by a great Guro Reiten cross as the two were at pace to beat the entire Vllaznia defence and get another score in for Chelsea in the first half.
When it rains, it pours, and that began to be the case for Chelsea’s attack. Again with a Reiten assist, this time to Pernille Harder, the Blues found their way to the goal once again before half-time.
We could have taken the foot off the gas pedal in the second half to preserve energy for the Women’s Super League match against Aston Villa next weekend. But we chose not to.
Instead Chelsea continued to pursue goals, pushing themselves ahead and pinning Vllaznia against their defensive third. Goals were bound to come, and they did first via Kerr — first from a corner, and then from a simple shot in the box. Both of which assisted by Reiten, who completed four assists tonight before leaving the pitch.
Harder would also add another goal to her record as well. Another well-taken Reiten corner left Vllaznia scrambling, and the ball fell to their shot-stopper. She tried to push the ball away but ended up “assisting” Harder, who just needed to push the ball towards the back of the net to complete a brace.
Five changes were made to the lineup and Chelsea kept their hunger for goals. On a good cross from fellow substitute, Alsu Abdullina, Katerina Svitkova scored her first ever club goal with a powerful header to add a seventh to the scoreline in our favour.
Kerr already had a “poker”, and Harder wanted more goals, too! She scored an eighth goal just before the final whistle, to wrap up a complete rout of Vllaznia at Kingsmeadow with a hat-trick of her own.
- Several changes were made to the lineup that played against Brighton last weekend, in comparison to the one that faced Paris Saint-Germain a few days prior. Same is the case here with several changes to the starting eleven, from Zecira Musovic starting at goal to Sam Kerr leading the line in attack.
- Subs are Jess Carter for Niamh Charles, Katerina Svitkova for Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Beth England for Sam Kerr, Alsu Abdullina for Guro Reiten, and Fran Kirby for Jessie Fleming.
- Vllaznia simply could not handle Chelsea’s pressure at any point in the entire match. Outside of (very few) sloppy passes from the Blues and a couple of cheap fouls given away in our half, they were never that big of a threat to us.
- Kerr back in the scoreline! And with a “poker” to boot!
- Harder with a hat-trick, as well!
- Next up: Aston Villa at home, in the Women’s Super League.