News : Women’s football – Champions League: FC Bayern Munich wins semi-final first leg against FC Chelsea
Scene of the game: Often it had not happened until this 56th minute that a Bayern player had space and was able to run towards the goal of Chelsea FC at high speed. But this attack was just too well played: Klara Bühl defended the ball with a little physical effort in midfield, playmaker Lina Magull put Hanna Glas in scene on the right wing. The advanced Swede pulled inside, wiggled compatriot Jonna Andersson – and shot from the edge of the penalty area into the short corner. A victory cannot be bagged much more worth seeing.
The result: 2: 1 (1: 1) the soccer players of FC Bayern Munich prevail in the semi-final first leg of the Champions League against FC Chelsea from the financially strong English Women’s Super League. After the Londoners had already knocked out the other top Bundesliga club, VfL Wolfsburg, in the quarter-finals, the Bavarian victory is more than a respectable success: The club, which wants to build the women into a world-class team like the men, seems to have achieved exactly that to have.
Safety first: The line-up for which coach Jens Scheuer decided against FC Chelsea showed respect. Lea Schüller and Linda Dallmann, who usually like to play offensive leading roles in the national team and at FC Bayern, initially only sat on the bench. Instead, the league leaders of the Bundesliga relied on a three-man chain and a quick switch game from a safe defense. An idea that should work.
The first half: Chelsea didn’t have too many chances. That was based on mutuality, but the first attempt was made right away: Sydney Lohmann headed for the lead after a cross from Glas (12th minute). The equalizer turned out to be strange: Bayern defender Marina Hegering headed a free kick from Guro Reit unhappily against the skull of Chelsea player Melanie Leupolz (22nd minute). As an arc lamp, the ball descended into the goal. Hegering rehabilitated when she shortly afterwards Chelsea’s star striker Samantha Kerr straddled the ball in the penalty area (30th).
Welcome home: For Leupolz, the game on the FC Bayern campus was a return to the former place of work. From 2014 to 2020, the national player had pulled on the jersey of the Munich team, and for the last two years she was even the captain. As a reunion gift, the former colleagues not only received the interim equalizer, but also a bloody nose when Leupolz fought off a shot with his head shortly before the break whistle.
The second half: The Munich team started the second half surprisingly furiously: Lineth Beerensteyn put the ball just a touch too far for a big chance (46th), Klara Bühl thundered a shot just over the bar (47th). Glass hits rewarded the Bavarian offensive a little later, before Chelsea regained control of the game. But more than a powerful long-range shot by So-Yeon Jis, whose attempt bounced from the lower edge of the crossbar back into the field (72nd), Chelsea no longer succeeded.
Berger’s annoyance: The tragic figure of the afternoon was probably Chelsea’s goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger. Before the 0: 1, the German national player Glas Flanke misjudged and extended the ball with her fingertips to goal scorer Lohmann. The goal to the final score hit Berger’s goalkeeper corner, she herself collided painfully with the post.
Smart words, little effect: The backdrop on the Bayern campus corresponded to what was already known from Corona times: Without an audience, there is no background noise from the stands that could have drowned out calls and interjections from the benches. And so the television viewer, Chelsea’s trainer Emma Hayes, was allowed to listen to how she drove her team and commented on every action – more eagerly and more specifically than many colleagues. Often you don’t hear concrete suggestions coming from the sidelines as to how a team can better cope with the transition into the dangerous zones. However, even active coaching was not enough to turn 64 percent possession into a real goal danger.
Everytime on Sundays: In the coming weekends it will now be decided whether a good season for Bayern women will turn into a very good one. It’s about defending the two-point lead over Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. And about fighting for the title in the Champions League. The second leg against Chelsea will take place next Sunday, and a week later VfL Wolfsburg will host a direct duel in the league. And if everything goes according to plan, the Champions League final in Gothenburg, Sweden, will follow on Sunday, May 16 – against Paris Saint-Germain or FC Barcelona, who were 1-1 in the first leg in Paris.