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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul lagan at Stamford Bridge

Hayes' dream of Champions League glory crashes to the ground as Barcelona overcome 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 on aggregate

Chelsea v Barcelona Picture by Paul Lagan
Chelsea v Barcelona Picture by Paul Lagan

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 0 v Barcelona 2 (1-2 on aggregate)

39, 398

Oh dear, the dream is over for Chelsea in the Champions League, losing 2-0 in the semi-final second leg at the Bridge - 2-1 on aggregate to a much better outfit in Barcelona.

Their cause was not helped when Kadeisha Buchanan saw a red card for two needless yellow card offences.

By then the Spanish outfit had levelled the aggregate score when Aitana Bonmati's deflected shot zipped past Hannah Hampton on 25 minutes.

It was always going to be tough with 11 players but when Buchanan saw red on 59 minutes, the task was just too far.

It wasn't to be when the Blues conceded a penalty with 17 minutes left and Fridolina Rolfo slotted home home from the spot.

The Blues, huffed and puffed, they even threw Millie Bright on up front in a last chance saloon option to try and snatch a goal. It didn't happen.

It was a cagy start by both sides, neither wanted to give the advantage away too early.

But it was Barcelona who started to take a grip of possession, as expected.

Too many of the Spanish passes however were overhit and drifted out of the danger zone.

Chelsea's first effort of sorts, came on 16 minutes when the ball was worked to the left, Ashley Lawrence fed a deep ball to Lauren James, who tucked the ball back to Erin Cuthbert. But her shot was high and wide and hit row Z of the Shed.

Hannah Hampton was on hand to smother a long-range effort by Salma Paralluelo on 22 minutes.

The pressure finally told on 26 minutes when after excellent pressure, an edge of the area shot by Bonmati took the slightest of deflection on it's way into the side netting of Hampton's goal, to put the Spanish side ahead and level on aggregate.

Melanie Leupolz rattled the crossbar on 31 minutes, after James had cut back the perfect byline cross.

The lino gave either an offside or suggested the ball had crossed the byline. But as no goal was scored, there was no need for a VAR intervention.

Catarina Macario, was on the end of a bit of Blues pressure on 36 minutes and her left-footed half-volley was on target, but Catalina Coll managed to parry the ball away for a corner.

This was followed by a poor back pass by a Barca defender which allowed Niamh Charles to grab, again the ball was fed to Cuthbert - with the same outcome, but this time it was row Y.

There were no changes by either side at half time.

But it was the visitors who forced the pressure, pushing the Blues deep into their own area and throwing themselves at the ball.

A call for a Barca penalty was rightly dismissed during this.

But a quick break by Chelsea on 56 minutes, started by James saw Sjoeke Nusken sliced a shot wide of Coll, but the ball bounced off the foot of her right post.

Disaster struck the Blues two minutes later when Kadeisha Buchanan was given a second yellow card and sent off.

Paralluelo was inches wide of making it 2-0 when she headed, unchallenged over the crossbar from close range.

Hayes decided to take off Macario, and brought on Guro Reiten on 63 minutes.

Hampton was on the spot to smother an Ona Batile edge-of-the-area shot on 66 minutes.

Up at the other end for the first attack of the half, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd saw her low, left footer saved by Coll.

Barca were given a penalty with 18 minutes left on the clock when Carter and Lawrence sandwiched Bonmati with Lawrence given the fatal touch to send the player crashing down in the box.

Up stepped Rolfo, who up to then had done little, to send, Hampton the wrong way and give the Spanish side a 2-0 lead and 2-1 aggregate lead.

Hayes immediately brought on Aggie Beever-Jones in a desperate attempt to add to the firepower – off went Leopold.

Next to enter the fray was a triple substitution of Eve Perisset, Fran Kirby and Millie Bright – off went Lawrence, Kaneryd and James.

Bright went straight up front with Hayes giving instructions to Hampton to kick the ball long when she had it.

Route one was the solution proffered by Hayes – would it work?

Chelsea had six added minutes to save their dream.

Their dream died.

Teams: Chelsea: Hampton, Nusken, Carter, Leupolz, Macario, James, Lawrence, Rytting Kaneryd, Charles, Cuthbert, Buchanan

Subs: Musovic, Bright, Ingle, Reiten, Kirby, Perisset, Mjelde, Cankovic, Beever-Jones, Bjorn

Barcelona, Coll, Paredes, Paralluelo, Hansen, Guijarro, Bronze, Rolfo, Walsh, Batile, Engen

Subs: Panos, Font, Fernandez, Pina, Torrejon, Caldentey, Putellas, Vilamala, Brugts, Lopez, Martina

Referee: Luliana Demetrescu - Romania


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