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  • By Paul Lagan

Hayes: The league is over for us, it’s finished

Emma Hayes Photo by Paul Lagan

Emma Hayes refused to be frustrated or annoyed as her charges failed to hit the back of the net in a 0-0 draw at Birmingham this afternoon that signals the end of their WSL1 title defence.

She has officially conceded that they cannot now defend their title.

“Yeah, yeah, Oh yeah, the league is over - the league is finished,” she said.

“It’s certainly in Birmingham, Arsenal and Man City’s hands now. I think for us, we need to keep finding our way and keep together, which we are and recognise that you don't always get what you want in your life.”

Champions Chelsea even missed from the spot kick as substitute Karen Carney saw her low, drilled right-footer saved by woman of the match Ann-Katrin Berger.

The Londoners missed several excellent chances to kill the game off.

Hayes said: “I’m not frustrated or annoyed, none of those things. You should see me when I’m frustrated. The team were dominant. I’m happy with my team. They did all that was asked of them.

“It was a great performance. They are league leaders and they didn’t get out of their half. We created all the chances, I thought we did everything that we needed to. I think I’m going to concentrate on that.

“We did not drop two points, we gained a point.”

Carney’s penalty save came after Fran Kirby had set up Ji So Yun. The South Korean was hauled down. Carney, who slotted the ball home from the spot in the 1-0 midweek Champions League win against Fiorentina was unlucky to find Berger in such commanding form.

Hayes said: “I just thought it was a good opportunity to score, we had a few of them, but we didn’t take them.”

So why are the Blues missing so many chances?

“Hands down, the team are doing absolutely everything they can,” said Hayes.

“It’s got to do with us just concentrating and keep at it. Sometimes, things don't fall for you and you have to keep working at that.

“The ricochets are not going our way. we should be talking about three points.”

With the title conceded, will Hayes use the remaining league games to bolster their Champions League chances - the return leg of the last 16 in Florence is at the end of the month.

She said: “I don’t think like that. I’ve got to think of the best strategy to win the game next week against Liverpool.”

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