Chelsea frustrated in Women’s Champions League stalemate

A dominant Chelsea were unable break down a stubborn BK Hacken defence as they were held to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

On the back of a disappointing defeat to Arsenal at the weekend, boss Emma Hayes demanded a performance that is a Chelsea standard in her programme notes and arguably got it.

In registering 22 shots and 70% possession, Chelsea were a class above their Swedish opponents and would have registered a comfortable victory were they not so charitable in their finishing.

Discussing her sides inability to score Hayes said: “We missed some calmness and composure on the ball and some of the players struggled to do the basic things tonight”.

From the off, Chelsea suffocated their visitors with England left-back Niamh Charles a constant thorn in the Swedish teams’ side.

Her link up play with Guro Reiten was at times sublime as she laid on chances for Kirby, Reiten and Kerr before midfielder Erin Cuthbert crashed an effort off of the crossbar.

Chelsea will have been disappointed to have gone into the break level and the introduction of BK Hacken’s speedy winger Monica Jusu Bah in the second period gave the Gothenburg side more teeth on the break.

With the game turning into a stalemate, Hayes turned to Lauren James, rested in the wake of receiving online racist abuse, to provide the star quality the game was crying out for.

Instantly the Chelsea’s attack began to go through the talented winger who saw long range efforts saved before she set up captain Kerr to head home only to see the assistant referee’s flag deny her for offside.

The final 20 minutes saw Chelsea continue to chisel away, dominating the ball and looking for openings.

Kerr headed a corner against the bar before James weaved her way through the Hacken defence only to see her fizzed cross fall narrowly behind the oncoming Fran Kirby.

Ultimately, the goal was not forthcoming and the Swedish side, this seasons surprise package, held on for a vital away point.

The result leaves Chelsea second in the group at the halfway point, one point behind tonight’s opponents.

Reflecting on a difficult week for her side, Hayes said: “This is a tricky moment in the season. You can’t go through a year entirely perfect. These moments are when you see the character of the players.”

Next up, Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways with a Women’s Super League trip to bottom side Bristol City on Sunday.

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