Chelsea FC Women still have a real chance of reaching a first UEFA Women’s Champions League final after they narrowly lost 2-1 against champions Lyon in France this afternoon in the first leg of their semi-final tie.
The Blues fell two goals down to Reynald Pedros’ side but a stunning second half goal from striker Erin Cuthbert reignited Chelsea’s hopes of progressing to the final.
The home side started the match brightly and Jess Fishlock tested Blues keeper Ann-Katrin Berger with an effort from range before the German stopper denied Ada Hegerberg with a stunning full-stretch save.
Lyon took the lead just before the half hour in fortunate circumstances. Delphine Cascarino drilled a ball across the box and her delivery hit Blues defender Magda Eriksson before the ball rolled beyond keeper Berger into her own net. It was the player’s second own goal in as many games.
The French club doubled their lead 11 minutes later when midfielder Amandine Henry netted from a corner kick.
Chelsea had struggled to trouble the home goal throughout the first half but two great chances came their way just before the interval. First, Karen Carney saw an effort cleared off the line by a Lyon defender before Emma Hayes’ side won a penalty kick in injury time. Fran Kirby stepped up to take the spot kick but her shot was saved by home keeper Sarah Bouhaddi.
Bouhaddi was the hero once again for Lyon shortly after the break when she produced a wonderful save to deny Maren Mjelde when one-on-one with the Norwegian international.
Eugenie Le Summer then forced Berger into a save before The Blues pulled a goal back when Cuthbert sweetly swept the ball into the net with an effort from inside the box.
Beth England had a late chance to level matters for Chelsea against all of the odds but she fired just wide as The Blues took a one-goal deficit into next week’s second leg meeting at Stamford Bridge.