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  • By Paul Lagan

Hayes: Humbled 5-0 by Arsenal shows that you are alive

Emma Hayes and her new son Photo by Paul Lagan

Chelsea Women were humbled 5-0 at home, at Kingsmeadow Stadium on Sunday to WSL 1 leaders Arsenal.

It was the first defeat this season for Emma Hayes’s side and leaves the champions six points adrift of their north London rivals having played a game more.

Hayes said: “I’ve had more good days in football than bad days.

“Being humbled reminds you that you are alive. I have a healthy fear of defeat, so as far as I’m concerned this is part of the journey. I’m old enough and wise enough to know you can lose games of football like this, even as a top team.

“I don’t expect my dressing room to be happy. But I do expect them to analyse and reflect on it because to feel victimised about it means you don’t take responsibility for it.

"I thought we were dominant until they scored their first goal. but at this level you have to take the chance and when Adelina Engman gets a great opportunity to go one-nil up, you have to take it.

"I though we stifled them, suffocated them. In their first attack, they get a penalty. You have to keep your head cool in that situation. We didn’t, we lost the 50/50 with Jess Carter in the air. They score the second off a deflection. At half time, the third is important. I don’t think if Jordan Hobbs does that 100 times, she will score that goal again. It’s game over then. Goals are the key parts of it but in the key moments of the the game, it was time for us to execute, and we didn’t. We have not been clinical enough up front nor good enough in defence.

“We talk about it like there is an expectation we should win.

“We talk about Arsenal as if they are the poor relations. They have spent a lot of money over a long time.

“They have top players and they are producing results that most of us have expected over the past five years. So they are in the ascendency.

“I thought they were clinical and their top players played well and that was the difference.”

So is the league now over?

"I think the league is too topsy-turvy for it to be over," she said.

"I think with them having one game a week puts them in the driving seat for sure. There will still be surprise results. They don't have a lot of depth. You are not going to come up every week against one penalty, two defected goals and one absolute worldly from the right hand side."

Striker Drew Spence was yellow carded for a terrible challenge from behind on Kim Little and was frustrated as the game ebbed away.

Had Hayes thought of replacing her?

"No," said Hayes.

"She’s passionate. It’s a big derby game, she cares, she’s got pride. But I don't want them to boil over with that. "I’m sure they will feel disappointed but we can't have it our own way all of the time.

Take her off? No, I trust her she is not that stupid. She was fair in everything she did. I don’t think she did anything that was over the edge."

The Blues are home again tomorrow night when they face Fiorentina in the Champions League round of 16. Will the players be down? Hayes is having none of that. “No, I love my job, I’ll manage it. It’s not a problem. We have to reflect, be calm, it’s not the end if the world. “It feels hard and I feel sorry for the fans. I feel we have let them down a bit. But my team will be at it come Wednesday.”

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