Incredible. Absolutely incredible.
Emma Hayes’ Chelsea have had some outstanding performances this season, but a 4-1 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final with 4-1 could be at the top of the pile. From beginning to end it was unreal.
The victory over the German champions is a good result in isolation, but to do it on such a big stage and keep your dreams of an unprecedented four alive? God!.
Thomas Tuchel’s first team and their deep performance in Europe dominated the titles, but the best football in Chelsea blue is undoubtedly the women who dominate Europe on merit with some of the best plays you’ve ever seen.
The Blues are solid in the back, with returning Magda Erickson bringing an already impressive defense to the next level against Bayern. Final defenders Niam Charles and Jess Carter seemed almost obsessed with their desire to dominate the Germans physically and tactically.
However, if you want to talk about dominance, look no further than Chelsea’s attack.
Kerby, the devastating combination of Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby, deservedly won most of the applause this year. Both are world-class talents separately, but together, they have formed a deadly understanding. Bayern’s defense could not cope with them, as Kirby scored the first and last goals, and Kerr was close to adding his own.
This does not mean discrediting the impact of the most expensive player in the world, Pernille Harder. Taking on the role of Roberto Firmino against Bayern, the Dane pulled defenders all over the field to try to give Kerby and yet he managed to come up with a goal that effectively sealed things. Even when she doesn’t want to score, she scores.
The Blues were electric in attack and determined in defense. The dying heat of the game saw all 11 Chelsea players put their bodies in line for the cause and their determination was broken only by a moment of absolute magic from Sarah Zadrazil. This is the kind of brilliance needed for Chelsea to break into this country.
On an individual level, this side of Chelsea is close to perfect and what prompts them is the exceptional managerial work of Hayes, who seems to be able to come up with the perfect game plan for each scenario.
You can see how much it meant to the boss who filled out his interview after the BT Sport match with the hooligans of a woman who had worked all her life for that moment. It drips with passion, and it’s contagious.
When you put it all together, you can see why this side of Chelsea is on the edge of history. To say that they are the best club country in the history of women’s football is a stretch, but the numbers do not lie. The four are very much alive.
Whether Hayes’ country will end up with all the silverware or not remains to be seen and the truth told doesn’t really matter. This team did something really special this year and will still go down in history.
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