Chelsea threatened to blow Wolfsburg completely away in the first 15 minutes, with chance after chance after chance, after chance. Harder, England, and Kerr all had great opportunities to score, with Ji running the show in the middle and both Cuthbert and Reiten doing good work on the wings and from corners.
Despite the wastefulness, Chelsea did grab the lead eventually, with Kerr producing a lovely chipped finish over the goalkeeper after collecting Ji’s ball over the top.
But all that good work was undone in the 17th minute, when captain Eriksson and goalkeeper Berger made a massive mess of dealing with a simple long ball over the top. Neither took charge as they got in each other’s way, and Wolfsburg forward Wassmuth took advantage of the gift to equalize.
Chelsea then had a penalty shout for a handball but Kerr was incorrectly ruled offside (no VAR), and then we proceeded to give away another goal just past the half-hour mark, this time with Berger making a most ill-advised pass out of the back. Wolfsburg seized upon that with former Arsenal player Roord firing a low show into the corner of the net.
Chelsea made it a hat-trick of gifts just a few minutes into the second half, after Jess Carter’s backpass was well underhit and Wassmuth was able to collect her second of the day. Their two goal lead didn’t last long however either, with Bethany England first to a loose ball in the area and finishing with assured ease.
Chelsea had nearly 40 minutes to find an equalizer but were not really able to mount a cohesive push for one. Hayes rang the changes, but still to no avail. The Blues finally put on the pressure in the final few minutes, with Cuthbert firing wide, but then Harder able to pounce on a loose ball after great work from Kirby and Leupolz to equalize in added-on time!
And so, it’s a share of the points between the two big group favorites.
- 3-4-3 from Emma Hayes, with Eriksson-Carter-Bright across the back and a highly fluid Harder-Kerr-England (later Kirby) up front. Ji & Leupolz ran the middle while Cuthbert and Reiten were the attacking wing-backs.
- Chelsea gave up two goals in the last four games. Three goals gifted in this one.
- Our ninth (9th!) meeting all-time against Wolfsburg already. Last year’s wins in both legs of the quarterfinal remain our only two wins against them. Proper nemesis stuff.
- Next up: Leicester City in the league on Sunday, then Juventus away next Wednesday. Juve beat Servette, 3-0 earlier today in the other game in our group.