Real Madrid are new to women’s football, but they make up their lack of experience with talent and grit. Chelsea would have a tough game in their hands and the first-half, despite Fran Kirby nearly scoring two minutes into the match, would show it.
With midfield going even in their battles most of the time, so did possession and goalscoring chances although with neither team consistently putting the other in threat. Still Chelsea looked like the better side on the pitch, even with Ann-Katrin Berger and Kadeisha Buchanan being called into action a few times.
In the second half Chelsea’s attitude changed markedly and for the better. Although the battle for possession continued, with neither side winning it by a huge margin, the Blues were way more incisive with their buildup play.
Several corners were won in the process and we would get the opening goal from one of them. Millie Bright rose highest in the box and flicked the ball towards Sophie Ingle, who made no mistake with her own headed effort to get Chelsea ahead at Kingsmeadow.
Real Madrid tried to answer with good passes and runs of their own from midfield to our defensive third, making things difficult for our wide players and Berger as well. A second goal was needed, and it came through thanks to Erin Cuthbert with a cross that lobbed the keeper into the back of the net.
Then it was merely a matter of keeping the ball out of “danger zones” in our defensive third. In fact we almost scored a third via Lauren James with a long-range shot that hit the side netting instead, which showed how well things went in the second half for the Blues.
- Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and Fran Kirby get a chance to impress in front of manager Emma Hayes in light of Pernille Harder’s hamstring injury and long-term absence from the pitch. Meanwhile Lauren James is a bench option.
- Subs are Lauren Hames for Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Jessie Fleming for Fran Kirby, and Jess Carter for Guro Reiten.
- Tough battles in midfield making it difficult for us to keep control of possession, but we are more than making up for it with our attacking forays.
- What would we call the goalscoring partnership between Millie Bright and Sophie Ingle?
- Erin Cuthbert again with an amazing match, and a wonderful goal to boot! At this point in time there is no reason to leave her out of the conversation as one of the world’s best in the sport.
- Next up: Leicester City away in the Women’s Super League.