May 18, 2021

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Hayes overjoyed as Chelsea reach the Champions League final

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was “overcome with emotion” after her side beat Bayern Munich to reserve their place in the Champions League final.

Hayes’ side reversed a 2-1 deficit after last week’s first leg against Bayern Munich, winning 4-1 at Kingsmeadow to become the second England team to reach the final.

The first was Arsenal in 2007, when Hayes was assistant manager to Vic Akers and won the title with Chelsea has been a target since taking over the hotseat in 2012.

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The 44-year-old was in tears at the final whistle, with late goals from Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby clinching a meeting with Barcelona in Gothenburg in two weeks.

“I wanted so much today,” said Hayes. “It was the longest week in the world. I had to do everything to keep my emotions under control, to continue to train normally. I just wanted the game to come. I’m so glad this is an early kickoff.

“I’ve had enough of these games now to know they’re never easy. Fair play with Bayern, I think he was a great opponent. But the resilience of this group is so amazing.

“I think there were two moments of delay, I was clinging to my dear life. Everyone did what I asked them to do. We are here, we are in the final.

“I have learned over the years that of course I want to win the final, but I will salute the achievement of making history because we have put in thousands of hours to what we do and I gonna have a nice evening tonight.

“I am overwhelmed with emotion. I can’t describe it. I almost can’t let the tears fall. How do you describe the pride you have in the club you represent, in the people you represent? I am a very motherly figure here and so happy for everyone.

Chelsea could win the quadruple, however, and attention now turns to the last two women’s Super League games against Tottenham and Reading ahead of the final against Barcelona, ​​which beat Paris St Germain.

Hayes said, “The biggest game of our life is Wednesday night. I want to win the league. There is no party tonight. OK, I’ll have a drink but my mind is on Tottenham tomorrow. The players will be bright and early. Difficult. They don’t have a day off.

“I said this time last year the Champions League final would be Chelsea-Barcelona. That’s what I told my performance manager and he said why. I said it was either them or PSG, and if we avoid PSG or Barcelona then I love us.

“I am happy to play for Barcelona in a unique game on neutral ground. The Spanish teams are delicate, we know how much they have the ball. But I know how talented we are. We are going there to earn it.