Chelsea find themselves a goal behind entering the second leg of their UWCL semifinal against Bayern Munich. Despite the deficit, the Blues will be full of belief that they can reverse the advantage at Kingsmeadow. A week from today, one of these sides will have punched their ticket to the Women’s Champions League final.
It was Bayern Munich who struck first, taking advantage of an uncharacteristic mistake by Ann-Katrin Berger. Young German Sydney Lohmann was on hand to give Bayern a 1-0 lead after only twelve minutes.
How you like that?— FC Bayern Frauen (@FCBfrauen) April 25, 2021
Gerne mehr davon in der zweiten Hälfte, Mädels! #MiaSanMia #FCBayern #UWCL pic.twitter.com/fcB3CIM4H7
It didn’t take long for the Blues to respond, benefited by a bit of good fortune. A set piece was delivered from Reiten, and an attempted defensive clearance from Bayern was headed back off the forehead of Melanie Leupolz, and the resulting deflection looped over Laura Benkarth to level the match. Leupolz didn’t know a thing about it, but she won’t have minded scoring against her former team, regardless of how it happened.
Right back in it! ⚽️#CFCW #UWCL pic.twitter.com/SKSqkkRkBk— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) April 25, 2021
Halftime was reached with the sides still even at 1-1. As was the case in the first half, Chelsea fell behind 12 minutes into the second half. This time, the goal came courtesy of Hanna Glas, who was given too much time to bring the ball toward the edge of the box before firing a strike into the near post top corner.
Ooooj, vilket mål av Hanna Glas i Bayern Münchens Champions League-semifinal mot Chelsea pic.twitter.com/MOKPxJTXfm— Sportbladet (@sportbladet) April 25, 2021
Chelsea’s best chance to draw even came in the 73rd minutes when Ji So-yun hit an excellent strike off the bottom of the crossbar, an inch away from a stunning goal. Unfortunately, the second goal never came and despite a couple of half chances for both sides in the waning minutes, the match finished 2-1 to Bayern Munich. After a tightly contested first leg, both teams will feel the final is well within reach.
- Starting XI: Berger, Carter, Ingle, Bright, Andersson, Leupolz, Ji So-yun, Reiten (‘65 Charles), Harder (‘70 England), Kirby, Kerr
- Hanna Glas was a handful for the Blues defense throughout the match. She scored on an impressive strike, but her width and delivery into the box created problems throughout.
- The Blues will be counting on Magda Eriksson being fit in a week’s time for the second leg. Her absence was unsurprisingly missed.
- She wasn’t the only one, but Pernille Harder didn’t impact the match the way we are used to seeing. She picked up a “soft” yellow card in the first half and may have been hesitant to pick up a second.
- Bayern did as well as anyone has to quiet the explosive Chelsea attack. Sam Kerr had a couple of half chances, but the Blues didn’t create anywhere near the number of chances they are used to. Few of Chelsea’s opponent’s keepers have had as little to do as Laura Benkarth did today.
- Ann-Katrin Berger has been massive for Chelsea this season. Her recent performances in both the WSL and UWCL have put the team in a position to win both competitions. Today was not her brightest day however. Her mistake led to Bayern’s first goal, and while Bayern’s second was on an excellent shot, it is a save we’ve seen her make before. I’d imagine she’ll be at her very best in the second leg.
- Next Up: The second leg of the semifinal will be played next Sunday, May 2nd, at Kingsmeadow. Heading back home with an away goal, Chelsea are still very much in the tie.