What a remarkable victory! Emma Hayes promised a performance of a lifetime from Chelsea and that’s exactly what she and the Blues provided.
The good news for Chelsea started before kickoff as captain Magda Eriksson was cleared to return to the starting XI. Her inclusion was a huge boost, not only because of her individual talent, but because Sophie Ingle could now drop into a three center back backline when Bayern attacked. The Blues looked bright from the opening and took an early advantage through Fran Kirby. Sam Kerr was able to find Kirby’s run into the center of the box and Kirby expertly finished, as she has so often this season.
Bayern weren’t behind long, thanks to an incredible strike by Sarah Zadrazil. Her driven strike following a corner went in off the underside of the bar and left Berger rooted to the ground. Chelsea regained the lead just before halftime through a set piece. Fran Kirby was fouled just outside the box and Ji So-yun made Bayern Munich pay. Her initial kick was directly into the wall, but her follow-up was true, arrowing into the far corner to put the Blues back on top.
A very tense second half saw chances for both teams, as each side knew the next goal would be massive. Chelsea who found it in the 84th minute, once again thanks to a set piece. Jess Carter played a sublime cross into the box and Pernille Harder’s flicked header gave Laura Bankarth no chance.
The match was still in the balance, as a second away goal for Bayern Munich would be enough to eliminate Chelsea from the competition. Despite Bayern having multiple chances that came agonizingly close, including a ball that seemed to sit on Chelsea’s goal line for days, their second away goal never came.
Instead, Chelsea delivered a haymaker to knock out Bayern once and for all. Substitute Erin Cuthbert did well to recover a ball and launch upfield to Fran Kirby. With all eleven Bayern players pressing forward, Kirby found herself all alone with an empty net. She cooly passed into a gaping net to cement perhaps the biggest win in club history.
- Starting XI: Berger, Carter, Bright, Eriksson, Charles, Leupolz (‘88 Cuthbert), Ingle, Ji, Kirby, Harder (‘90 Spence), Kerr
- Words fail to describe the tension late in the second half. With both teams fighting to reach a first ever Champions League final, you could feel the desperation of both sides. Bayern came so close to grabbing a vital second away goal time after time.
- Fantastic job by Chelsea’s full backs today after having a torrid time in the first leg. Jess Carter played on the left side and controlled Hana Glas throughout. Niamh Charles started on the right and worked well with Fran Kirby to threaten the Bayern defense.
- Sam Kerr was a constant threat today and set up Fran Kirby for her first goal. Still, she must have been a bit relieved that her breakaway miss in the final minutes didn’t end up costing the Blues.
- WE ARE GOING TO THE CHAMPION’S LEAGUE FINAL!!!!
- The final will be played against Barcelona, in Gothenburg, on Sunday, May 16th.
- Next up: Chelsea return to WSL action to wrap up a second consecutive title, taking on Tottenham away on Wednesday, May 5th.