Late Equaliser Saves Chelsea Women From Defeat Against Wolfsburg

Chelsea Women

The UEFA Women’s Champions League group stages kicked off with a massive clash between Chelsea Women and Wolfsburg, two of European football’s most prominent teams.  The Group A tie ended 3-3 with Chelsea needing a late equalizer from Pernille Harder to escape with a point after handing Wolfsburg three goals through defensive errors.

Chelsea Women Need Late Equalizer Against Wolfsburg in Champions League Opener

Ann-Katrin Berger Has A Half To Forget

Chelsea were initially in cruise control with Ji So-Yun and Melanie Leupolz sitting deep and exploiting the space behind the Wolfsburg defense. Chelsea even took the lead when Sam Kerr chipped the ball over Almuth Schult following a beautiful long ball from Ji So-Yun. It seemed like Chelsea were going to have an easy night on their hands before the defensive errors crept in to first gift Wolfsburg an equaliser, and then the lead. Chelsea’s defensive weakness was exploited in last year’s final defeat against Barcelona and they were on full display once again in this first half.

Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger will have to shoulder the blame for both goals. The first goal can partly be blamed on the lack of communication with Berger from her defensive colleagues leading to their clash but as a goalkeeper, Berger had a better vision of the play and should’ve known to back away as her defender was on the ball.  The second goal was almost entirely on Berger, she played the ball short despite a heavy press from Wolfsburg which led to Chelsea immediately losing possession and conceding.

Second-Half Fight back

Within minutes of the restart, Chelsea found themselves 3-1 down following another defensive error. This time the blame will fall on Jess Carter who attempted a back pass to Berger but instead gave possession to Wolfsburg who slotted home a third.

Chelsea seemed down and out but showed a lot of resolve to fight back and pulled one back through Beth England just three minutes after going 3-1 down. The second half was scrappy with Wolfsburg looking more likely to put the game to bed but Chelsea held on and kept Wolfsburg at bay before netting a 91st-minute equaliser thanks to Pernille Harder – who was playing against her former club.

We saw the good and bad side of this Chelsea team during this game, they went from the well-oiled machine that steamrolled Manchester United to the messy team that suffered the 4-0 defeat to Barcelona. For their part, Wolfsburg looked to be the better side and will be disappointed to only come away from the Group A opener with a single point but they will be confident that they can get the win over Chelsea when these two teams play again in Germany on matchday six.

 

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