Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says there were valid reasons behind their semi-final first-leg defeat to Bayern Munich in the Women’s Champions League, but vowed to have the team firing on all cylinders for the return fixture.
The Blues went down 2-1 in Bavaria on Sunday, leaving them with work to do in the second leg, but that game came just four days after Chelsea were involved in a titanic top-of-the-table clash in the Women’s Super League against Manchester City.
That game finished 2-2, with the Blues twice leading before City pulled level, and the point apiece left Chelsea still two points clear at the top of the WSL with just two matches left to play.
A huge emotional and physical toll on the squad from that match led to the below-par showing against Bayern, Hayes says – but she’s certain that it will be a different matter when the sides meet again on 2 May.
“Everybody has to respect when you play the game we had to play against City on Wednesday night, that took a lot emotionally out of the whole group,” Hayes told Chelsea’s website.
“Then to come and play our second biggest game of the season, I think that’s extremely difficult.
“Yes, Bayern are excited by their result today (Sunday), but trust me, I will make sure the team will put in the performance of their life next week.”
Despite bemoaning the “really poor goals” that Chelsea conceded against Bayern, netting one of their own in Germany means Chelsea remain firmly in the tie and Hayes is looking only towards making matters a lot more difficult for Bayern in the second leg.
“We have to focus on the positives. It’s too easy in a game like this to reflect on things that didn’t go so well, and I won’t do that until I’ve watched it back.
“For now we have the away goal, it’s half-time, now we’ve got to bring them to Kingsmeadow and we’ve got to pose a much different problem to them.”
As well as aiming for glory in both WSL and Champions League, Chelsea also remain in the FA Cup where they will face Everton in the fifth round, having already won the League Cup in March – meaning a historic quadruple is still on the cards.
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