It wasn’t to be for Chelsea Ladies as they fell at the penultimate stage in the Champions League. The 3-1 deficit from the first leg proved too hard to overturn and the Blues succumbed to another defeat as Wolfsburg comfortably won the second leg 2-0 on home turf. The German side will now go on to the final to play Lyon in what will be a highly anticipated encounter.
Chelsea knew that to get through they would have to score multiple goals and Emma Hayes set them up accordingly. Ramona Bachmann returned to the starting line up to face her old club after being suspended in the first leg. Eni Aluko was also named in the starting line up to join Kirby and Bachmann up front in a bold 3-4-3 formation.
The attacking intent showed by Chelsea was an early positive in the opening stages of the match; however that also meant they were leaving themselves open at the back and the first big opportunity of the game came about as a result of that. Hedvig Lindhal had to be quick and alert to smother the ball after Wolfsburg had opened up the Chelsea defence with an intricate period of passing play.
As the onus wasn’t on Wolfsburg to score, they were able to stick to their defensive shape and not allow Chelsea any opportunities. By the end of the first half, although Chelsea had a lot of the ball, they were unable to create anything tangible.
The second half saw Chelsea again come out of the traps, pushing players forward and trying to create openings but it was Chelsea’s goalkeeper who was the busier of the two goalkeepers. Lindhal had to be alert to save a stinging effort from Wolfsburg midfielder Lara Dickenmann and then had another two efforts to deal with. It wasn’t until midway through the second half when Chelsea finally created a clear opening. Kirby was sent through on goal after a lovely through ball from Katie Chapman, however, the FWA’s Footballer of the Year was denied by Wolfsburg’s goalkeeper.
That opportunity seemed to spur on the Chelsea Ladies, but that renewed optimism was soon killed off when Wolfsburg put the tie to bed. A Chelsea attack was well defended by the Wolfsburg defenders and in a quick counter, Pernille Harder found herself in space, one on one with the keeper and she confidently finished; putting her side 1-0 up. Wolfsburg quickly clinched a second goal, Ewa Pajor heading in from a free kick and the game ended with a final aggregate score of 5-1 to the Germans.