Down 2-1 from the first leg but with the “away” goal, Wolfsburg came out with plenty of intent and effort to try to get back on level terms quickly (and in the lead based on away goals in fact). But Chelsea’s makeshift back line, including deputy-of-the-deputy right back, Jess Carter, stood tall and strong, with Emma Hayes’ shift to a 4-4-2 also helping as Kirby and Cuthbert, on the right and left, respectively, routinely dropped back to defend the flanks that Wolfsburg so strongly ruled in the first leg.
With the “home” side in the ascendancy, Chelsea looked for counter opportunities, and won a penalty from one of those. Kerr gave chase on Harder’s long ball over the top, and managed to get ahead of her defender, Doorsoun. Her tackle from behind was always going to be awkward and even if she might have gotten the ball, there was definite contact that Kerr accepted. The foul was technically just outside the area, but continued into the area and after a moment’s pause, the referee made the same call. Up stepped Harder, and rolled into coolly into the bottom corner.
Wolfsburg had an immediate chance to equalize on the night, but Pajor missed an easy chance sliding in at the back post, and her team was made to pay for that straight away, as Kerr turned and fired a low shot into the bottom corner at the other end to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead on the night, and 4-1 on aggregate!
The tie was practically over at that point, but we still had 45 minutes to play. And you never know in Europe...
But Chelsea would see out the result quite comfortably and advance to the semifinals, with Kirby putting the icing the on the cake in the last 10 minutes to make it 3-0 on the night, 5-1 on aggregate.
- More of a 4-4-2 in this one than last week’s 4-3-3, with Cuthbert drafted in for Ji to help out on the left flank and Kirby playing wide right to do so on the right, ahead of Carter, who was deputizing for the suspended Niamh Charles who had been deputizing for the injured Maren Mjelde.
- Cuthbert switching to the right with Reiten coming on for Kerr and Kirby going up top. Fleming (for Cuthbert), Ji (for Leupolz), Spence (for Ingle) completed the changes as Chelsea stayed in the 4-4-2.
- Chelsea had never beaten Wolfsburg before this month (1 draw, 5 losses). Back-to-back wins over the German giants now!
- Chelsea reach the semifinals for the third successive Champions League campaign. We’ve never made it beyond that, losing to Wolfsburg (2018) and Lyon (2019).
- Bayern Munich (probably) await in the semifinals this time. They have a 3-0 first leg lead against Rosengard.