Chelsea take control of the group after Ingle and Cuthbert beat Real Madrid | Women’s Champions League

Erin Cuthbert said after her stunning shot, «People say I just hit the kickers and it’s really annoying – I want to score too, I want to be recognized as a striker.» against Tottenham Sunday. But the Scottish striker, who signed a new contract with Chelsea last week, fired from wide angles and empowered the Blues to extend their lead in the Women’s Champions League Group A by beating Real Madrid 2-0. reputation for stylish goals.

“It was phenomenal,” Emma Hayes said. “I don’t think there is a leaf of grass that is not covered. There was a determination in his performance that we all expected.”

Three changes were made by Chelsea, who beat Tottenham 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday; Niamh Charles, the Frenchman Ève Périsset’s replacement, Canada’s Olympic gold medalist Jessie Fleming took the bench to make way for Fran Kirby. and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd favored Lauren James.

But the biggest blow came Tuesday when news broke that influential forward Pernille Harder underwent surgery following a hamstring injury sustained in international duty.

Real striker Athenea del Castillo was on the bench in Saturday’s 1-0 away win at Sporting Huelva, as Frenchman Méline Gérard was replaced by Misa Rodríguez as Maite Oroz, Freja Olofsson, Naomie Feller and Esther Gonzalez all sat outside over the weekend. started.

In Hayes’ first game at Kingsmeadow after an emergency hysterectomy after a long battle with endometriosis, Chelsea got off to a brilliant start and – after a good run by Sam Kerr – Kirby rallied and forced a rescue from Rodríguez in the fourth minute.

Sophie Ingle heads home to put Chelsea ahead of Real Madrid.
Sophie Ingle heads home to lead Chelsea after Millie Bright takes a corner kick from Erin Cuthbert. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Despite the fast start, there was little to separate the two sides, both of whom had not conceded in Group A. The win would have given Chelsea a chance to beat Real and Paris Saint-Germain by five points at the midpoint of the group. Albanian side Vllaznia bottomed out without scoring or scoring after a 5-0 loss to PSG in the early kick-off. But despite the chance to truly take control of the group, Hayes’ side struggled to create clear scoring opportunities.

Real Madrid coach Alberto Toril said before the kick-off that his team would «fight and make life difficult», and by doing just that, they did a stifling service to Kerr, Kirby and the repressed Rytting Kaneryd. Second, James was replaced, while Hayes tried to inject some energy into the increasingly soul-sucking half of football, while Kirby replaced Fleming around the clock.

Chelsea had to rely on a stationary player in the 68th minute as Cuthbert led a right-hand corner from Millie Bright to the close post and Ingle came in from behind with a header. It was a rocket the crowd and players needed.

The first goal was quickly followed by the second, which also became Cuthbert’s second screamer in two games. His cross shot flew into the net from the right and provided his team with a two-goal cushion.

«It’s a secret,» Cuthbert said about whether he was serious. “I wanted to shoot at the target and see what would happen. Luckily, it got out of my boot pretty well and went right over the goalkeeper’s head and in.

However, Toril was happy with the progress his team had made. «It was a very good game for both teams,» he said. We were at a pretty similar level, we are a young team, against a very mature team. We were happy and well.”

In the end it was simple for Chelsea but the game was far from beautiful. That’s what makes Hayes’ side so effective: They get results no matter how they play or how long it takes.

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