Chelsea held firm to beat German giants Bayern Munich 1-0 in the first leg of their Women’s Champions League round of 32 tie at Kingsmeadow.The goal came from Drew Spence’s low 10th-minute finish, after a neat move.
Bayern, European quarter-finalists in 2016-17, wasted several chances to score an away goal in a second half which they dominated.But the clean sheet gives Chelsea the edge for the return leg in Germany next week (Wednesday 11 October).
Chelsea, competing in Europe for a third consecutive year, have been knocked out by German opposition, Wolfsburg, in each of the past two seasons after first-leg losses at home.But Wednesday’s evenly-contested game saw a sharper, more resilient and tactically mature Chelsea display than 12 months ago.
Unseeded for the first knockout round, Emma Hayes’ side were unfortunate to be pitted against a highly-rated Bayern outfit. Yet, after Spence’s early strike, the hosts could have had a second goal, only for unmarked England centre-back Millie Bright to glance a header wide.However, they were grateful to Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl for some crucial saves, as she tipped Nicole Rosler’s audacious effort over the bar in the first half, before denying Dominika Skorvankova from close range in the second.
Bayern, runners-up in the Frauen Bundesliga last term behind Wolfsburg, were frustrated as they went close through Melanie Leupolz, Fridolina Rolfo and former Germany star Melanie Behringer shortly after half-time.
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