Saturday, January 22

Chelsea Women’s Champions League hopes in balance after Juve hold firm | Women’s Champions League

Joe Montemurro, the Juventus coach, scored exceptional success in his battle with his Chelsea counterpart Emma Hayes, as the Italian team won a Champions League point at Kingsmeadow, where Sam Kerr was booked for pushing a invader of fields.

“I don’t know why he didn’t wait until the end, he could have taken a picture then,” Hayes said somewhat puzzled about the invader who tried to take a selfie with Chelsea captain Magda Eriksson. “Seriously, we have to think about the welfare and safety of the players.”

Hayes praised his team’s resilience in earning a point despite not scoring for the first time this season. “I’m not frustrated [we didn’t score]. I’m wrecked [after the FA Cup final win].

“We are not superhuman. Would it have been good, would it have been easier to get into next week? [qualified]? Of course.”

Hayes had anticipated the intentions of Juventus, predicting that the Italian team would play for a draw in the second meeting of these teams in the group stage.

With Servette, the cannon fodder of Group A, next for Juventus and their former Arsenal manager Montemurro, three points next week in Turin will be enough to progress regardless of the result between Chelsea and Wolfsburg on the same night.

“It’s unbelievable,” Montemurro said. “We were happy to be in the group stages and to use this year as a learning experience.”

Midfielder Martina Rosucci said: “We are really at a crucial turning point right now. Other clubs in Europe are now noticing the strengths of Juventus, that we are not an easy team to play against. Italian football is changing and improving ”.

Hayes was not wrong in his assessment of how Juventus would be organized. Focused on their own half for much of the first 45 minutes, they failed to register a single shot at Chelsea’s 11, and former Arsenal goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was called into action periodically to keep the game scoreless. Chelsea’s best play was deflected by Guro Reiten and Erin Cuthbert, who forced rather routine saves from Peyraud-Magnin early on.

Kerr came closer to breaking the deadlock just before half an hour, the Australian forward beat Martina Lenzini to Ji So-yun’s punt before circling the goalkeeper but firing wide from the far post from a tight angle. Moments later, Kerr could only head the mocking cut ball from Fran Kirby towards the far post over the crossbar, with the pass a little high for her.

Millie Bright hit a long shot, Peyraud-Magnin knocking the England central’s effort over the bar.

In the second half, Hayes’ players and the lively home crowd were frustrated when Kerr appeared to have made the breakthrough in the 57th minute after scoring a cross from Kirby, but was correctly flagged offside.

Chelsea were dominant, but their goal attempts were not clean, with only five of their 17 shots on target. The frustrations later boiled over when Kerr was booked for shoving the unwelcome invader off the court and Ann-Katrin Berger was given a yellow card after she was enraged at Barbara Bonansea, who was also booked, for kicking Cuthbert in the shin as she struck. the ball. .

The draw means that Chelsea’s hopes of progression rest on them taking something, anything, from the game in Germany and, with Wolfsburg having won a draw in London, that is far from easy.

“I think we had the toughest group,” Hayes said. “Being at the top of the group right now, I’m very happy about that. We are learning. My players showed that they are resilient and deserve a day off tomorrow.

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