UEFA Women’s Champions League: VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 Chelsea - Wolfsburg come up trumps at home

UEFA Women’s Champions League: VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 Chelsea - Wolfsburg come up trumps at home

Wolfsburg attack too much for Chelsea to handle as German Champions reach fourth Champions League final

soppysophs
Sophie Lawson
VfL WolfsburgSchult, Blässe, Fischer (c), Goeßling, Maritz (Kerschowski, min. 66), Dickenmann, Harder, Gunnarsdóttir, Popp, Graham Hansen (Jakabfi, min. 72), Pajor (Wullaert, min. 80).
ChelseaLindahl, Blundell, Bright, Mjelde, Eriksson, Thorisdottir, Chapman (c), Bachmann, Aluko (Cuthbert, min. 64), Ji (Spence, min. 76), Kirby (Flaherty, min. 82).
SCORE1-0, min. 69, Harder. 2-0, min. 78, Pajor.
REFEREEOlga Zadinova (CZE) booked Maritz (min. 28), Chapman (min. 32), Bachmann (min. 79), Spence (min. 88)
INCIDENTSUEFA Women’s Champions League semi final second leg between VfL Wolfsburg and Chelsea held at the AOK Stadion, Wolfsburg.

On top from the first leg, Wolfsburg took their time in taking their chances against Chelsea, second-half goals from Pernille Harder and Ewa Pajor putting the tie well out of reach for the visitors as the hosts progressed to yet another UEFA Women's Champions League final.

Full blooded

With nothing to lose coming into the tie, needing three goals away from home (with a clean sheet to match) Chelsea attempted to get forward in the opening exchanges.

A turnover of possession saw the first real chance of the match, Caroline Graham Hansen’s low ball allowed to travel 50 yards, clean through the midfield to be picked up by Ewa Pajor. A touch from the young Pole saw her send Magda Eriksson the wrong way, time and space there as Pernille Harder joined the attack with blue shirts getting back.

With the option of laying off to Alex Popp at her disposal, Harder opted to shoot, the ball threaded through the box and sent millimetres wide of the near post.

With the game wide open, Wolfsburg moved forward with more rhythm and attacking nous, a neat ball from Harder to Graham Hansen enough to have Hedvig Lindahl off of her line to smother a clear chance.

Fed the ball but left stranded, Pajor attempted an audacious volley from the right side of the area, the ball curling well up and over the bar, gifting the possession back to the visitors.

Having changed their shape after their first leg loss, the visitors offed far less for the Wolves to work with in attack, the match a game of cat and mouse, the Blues still looking a way away from finding three of their own.

As of yet to ask a real question of Almuth Schult, a weak corner 25 minutes in saw the ball work out to Millie Bright 35-yards out, her hopeful shot well over the bar.

A sloppy foul from Noëlle Maritz on Ramona Bachmann brought about another dead ball opportunity for the visitors, the delivery from Bachmann poor and easily countered.

A light touch from Harder took the ball from Ji So-Yun, the Dane skipping away and setting her team off on their way, the long ball out to Lena Goeßling deflected for an equally poor corner.

 

Stalemate

A smart ball forward from Eriksson had Eni Aluko on her way, the pacey striker with the run on Nilla Fischer, a perfectly timed slide from the Swede all to prevent Aluko from pulling the trigger. Following another watered down corner, the visitors opted to change the kick taker, Eriksson’s delivery to the back post bringing about a chance late in the half. Regaining possession, the hosts saw another chance, the execution lacking again.

Playing more directly after the break, the hosts saw a handful of chances from range, Lindahl either able to turn over or completely untroubled.

Very much on the front foot, Graham Hansen saw the space open up for her after a poor pass, one touch too many in the box making the save more straightforward for Lindahl. A flurry of corners for the Wolves brought about no change before Chelsea broke forward.

An initial solid touch from Goeßling took the ball from Aluko before a slip saw the Chelsea woman regain control in the box, a poor lunge for the ball a foul that was let go.

With the referee unmoved, the hosts brought the ball away, another late one that saw the defender get none of the ball and all over the player in the other box had Harder up in arms after Maren Mjelde’s foul.

The match was balancing itself out.

A sterling first-time ball forward for Kirby gave Chelsea a sniff at goal, the attacker with the pace to beat Goeßling, her tame effort claimed by Schult at the clock continued to tick down for the visitors.

Hugging the offside trap, Harder peeled away as the ball was slipped through forcing the Dane to slip out to the left to chase before cutting into the box, leaving Bright behind before firing beyond Lindahl.

On the pitch for a matter of seconds, Zsanett Jakabfi very nearly had an instant impact, her ball into the mixer blocked by Bright.

The hosts having moved up another gear after their goal, a poor header back from Ji to Mjelde left the Norwegian under pressure from Pajor, the attacker’s effort a whisker wide. The Pole’s persistence finally paying off minutes later when she rose between the centre-backs perfectly, hanging in the air to head Popp’s scooped ball home.

A late late chance for Chelsea saw substitute Erin Cuthbert draw a superb save from Schult, the conciliation denied by the German number one as the match rolled into the last minutes, both teams still looking for a goal.

Deep into stoppage time the Blues saw one more chance, Cuthbert's ball to fellow substitute Drew Spence fired into Schult's midriff, the visitors unable to go out on a high. 

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