Chelsea can reach its first Women’s Champions League final if it gets a better performance in the attacking third against Bayern Munich on Sunday, manager Emma Hayes said.
Bayern takes a 2-1 advantage into the semi-final second leg at Kingsmeadow Stadium outside London after shutting down Chelsea’s attacking trio of Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr.
“We didn’t play poorly last week, we just ... I didn’t think [we] did well in the finishing phase and gave away two sloppy goals, so we just have to keep doing what has got us to this point,” Hayes said.
“The realities are, if we’re going to progress, we’re probably going to have to score more than one goal.”
Chelsea signed Harder, the Denmark captain, from Wolfsburg before the season after paying what the German club said was a record transfer fee for women’s soccer, reportedly US$355,000.
Kerr, Australia’s prolific striker, joined Chelsea in late 2019. The last Australian international to score in the semi-finals was Sharon Black in 2003 when the competition was called the Women’s Cup.
Arsenal won the competition 14 years ago, but no other English team has reached the final.
Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson missed the first leg with a calf injury and the Sweden defender’s status remains uncertain. Hayes would say only that Eriksson is improving daily.
“We’re in this position because we deserve to be here but if you want to go to the next level you have to produce something you didn’t produce before,” the manager said this week. “It has to be better than it was.”
Sydney Lohmann and Hanna Glas scored for Bayern in Munich. Lohmann headed in a cross that bounded off the outstretched hands of Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger. Melanie Leupolz equalized against her former team later in the first half.
Paris Saint-Germain travels to Barcelona in the other semi-final on Sunday, after 1-1 in Paris.
Barca said it expects to have 1,000 fans in attendance at Johan Cruyff Stadium. Other games have been without fans owing to coronavirus restrictions.
Barcelona secured a valuable away goal through Jenni Hermoso’s competition-leading sixth tally, though she later left the game with an ankle injury. PSG equalized through United States defender Alana Cook’s header.
Barcelona and PSG have been runner-up before – the French club twice and the Spanish team once – but neither Chelsea nor Bayern have made it past the semis.
PSG knocked out record seven-time champion Lyon in the quarter-finals, ending its bid for a sixth straight title.
The final is on May 16 in Gothenburg, Sweden.