Ladies reaction: A mighty European effort
news Thu 12 Oct 2017
There was much to reflect on for Emma Hayes after she masterminded a sensational result in the last 32 of the Women’s Champions League.
A tough draw pitted Bayern Munich against the Blues and it was the German side who started as favourites, but a hard-fought 1-0 win in London was followed by a 2-1 reverse in Munich which meant it was Hayes’s team who advanced to the last 16, on away goals.
‘We have won FA Cups, we have won the league, but as far as I’m concerned that is the biggest win in my Chelsea career,’ the boss said.
‘We have knocked a mighty powerhouse out on their own turf. Our players deserve everything for the effort they have put in.
‘The game plan went well. When we made the subs we lost a little bit of discipline but it was so hard to get instructions over from the side of the pitch and I was frustrated with that. There was a lot of tension benchside for both teams.
'It’s such a hard job. We knew we would be without the ball and the players had to shift across the pitch an awful lot. We knew if we pressed in the right situations we would get counter situations.’
It was from one of those that Fran Kirby fired in what would prove the decisive away goal.
‘Fran was starting to tire, but when she went through one-v-one, I thought that there was no one else I would want in that position than Fran Kirby. She loves scoring goals, and it was a peach of a finish, and a great celebration after.
‘There is nobody better in England to put through one-v-one, and that was a wonderful finish.’
Overall, Hayes had nothing but praise to dish out to her players after a titanic performance that encompassed everything she is trying to instil in her Chelsea Ladies side.
‘We grew up as a football club tonight. I challenged the team that talent is only something if you do it on a regular basis. If you want to fulfil your talent and your potential, you have to do it on nights like this.
’There is no point talking about us being a good team full of potential. We have to deliver a performance, and we showed why we are making progress and why this is a club the players really play for. Every one of them put in such a shift for that badge.
'This is one of the toughest tests you are ever going to face. We have achieved a massive feat in European football. We have been the underdog, we have knocked out a powerhouse and I think it will give the team so much confidence going forward.’