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In their first Champions League match, Chelsea was only able to earn one point as they were tied 2-2 by Real Madrid after Olga Carmona scored a penalty.
After Carmona scored in the 10th minute, the Blues made a comeback with two headed goals on either side of halftime. Niamh Charles equalized and then assisted Sam Kerr’s goal.
Shortly after, Carmona, who scored Spain’s winning goal against England in the World Cup final, successfully made a penalty kick after Jessie Fleming was deemed to have committed a foul on Athenea del Castillo in the penalty area.
Lauren James, who came in as a substitute for Chelsea, hit the crossbar with her shot. In stoppage time, Bethany England’s goal was controversially disallowed, preventing the visitors from starting their last Champions League campaign with a win. This match also marks the end of Emma Hayes’ time as Chelsea’s coach, as she will be taking on the role of head coach for the United States team.
The team from west London, who have achieved numerous trophies under Hayes but have yet to win this particular competition, will face Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the Women’s Super League. They will then play Paris FC at the same venue five days later as part of their Group D matches.
On Wednesday, Paris FC lost 2-1 to Swedish team BK Hacken in their earlier pool game at home.
The first goal was scored by Real when Ann-Katrin Berger’s clearance landed at the feet of Claudia Zornoza. Zornoza then passed to Carmona, who shot from 25 yards and the ball deflected off Chelsea captain Millie Bright before going into the net.
Although the hosts did not pose much of a threat in terms of attacking, Chelsea seemed more and more poised to retaliate for the remainder of the first half.
Kerr witnessed a rising shot that was expertly saved by Misa Rodriguez shortly before the 30-minute mark. Erin Cuthbert also missed the target. However, the equaliser came four minutes before halftime when Charles scored with a header from Ashley Lawrence’s cross.
Chelsea continued to dominate in the final minutes of the game, with Cuthbert’s free-kick narrowly missing a white shirt and Rodriguez making a save on Nusken’s shot.
In the beginning of the second half, Rodriguez was faced with a header from Kerr and successfully deflected a shot from the same player soon after, displaying excellent performance.
After Hayes brought in James to replace Fran Kirby, Charles successfully stopped a shot by Del Castillo. However, the substitute ended up sending a shot into the stand on the opposite side.
Chelsea took the lead thanks to Charles, who assisted once again as her cross in the 74th minute was headed in by Kerr.
However, just five minutes later, the score was tied again. This was due to Fleming’s challenge on Del Castillo, which began outside the box but resulted in her falling in the penalty area. Without VAR in use, referee Frida Klarlund awarded a penalty, and Carmona scored it with a strong shot past Berger.
As Chelsea continued to press for a goal, Rodriguez made a strong save to stop Johanna Rytting Kaneryd’s attempt, and James struck a fantastic shot that hit the crossbar.
In the final moments of the game, the visitors scored another goal through Charles’ shot, but it was disallowed, likely due to an offside call. However, upon review, it was clear that she was not offside, leaving the coach Hayes visibly frustrated and Real Madrid breathing a sigh of relief.