After Chelsea’s 2-0 first leg win in their away game to Montpellier, we spoke to goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl about her contribution and just having a “that” feeling.
Keeper kept busy
As her coach said: “2-0 is a good result but it’s only half-time” in the fixture, one the shot-stopper agreed with, the main focus for the team keeping a clean sheet in France.
“It is a good result for us, getting two away goals is great, our first objective was a to keep a clean sheet but we also wanted to attack and we did that. They’re a good team so you can’t take anything for granted," Lindahl said.
Having come up trumps with a big save or two, Lindahl’s vast experience between the sticks also sees her command a strong presence behind Chelsea’s defence, the goalkeeper there to make sure no one panics.
“I think I can bring a little bit of calm when it’s stressful, but it was a team effort and everyone stepped up in the second half.”
As Montpellier pushed for an equaliser, Lindahl’s international teammate Sofia Jakobsson found herself with a glorious chance as she got behind the Blues’ defence, the Swede ultimately unravelling one-on-one.
“We know she’s very dangerous when she gets those through balls but I just stood my ground and Maren [Mjelde] did well to recover so we had her in a tight angle and luckily I made a save.”
Kept quiet over the opening exchanges, the host’s first clear-cut opportunity fell to Virginia Torrecilla, the Spanish midfielder nodding the ball against the inside of the post only for it to bounce off of Lindahl’s glove against the post before the Swede claimed.
In a position that can often feel like a passenger, the Blues number one concedes “that’s the challenge of a goalkeeper,” whilst also explaining: “When you get called upon you have to be ready, you might go from zero to a hundred in a split-second.
"So it’s very important, it might be the save that wins you the game but you never know, you might end up doing ten of those saves or one. Or maybe we end up winning 5-0 or 6-0 but you never know, you always have to be there in every moment of every game.”
As the match wore on the hosts saw more and more chances, the ball sent against the woodwork once more as the back-three put their bodies on the line, the midfield dropping back to help the cause.
"It’s a good day today"
Despite all their chances, Montpellier couldn’t find a way through, the game fast drifting into “just one of those days” territory, something Lindahl was aware of in her goal.
“I felt the way that after that first save that I made when it went off of my hand against the post and it was dancing on the line, I thought, 'it’s a good day today.'
"I definitely felt that and sometimes you just have luck on your side and it was a bit stressful, we weren’t in control at all in the first half but like I said, I brought some calm in and it all worked out fine."