May 16, 2021

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Hayes wants Chelsea to win the WSL ‘as much as’ the Women’s CL

Emma Hayes has insisted she wants to win the Women’s Super League “as much as anything” even if they reach the Women’s Champions League final.

On Sunday, the Blues entered the Women’s Champions League final for the first time as a 4-1 triumph over Bayern Munich at Kingsmeadow gave them a 5-3 victory on aggregate.

They return to WSL action on Wednesday when they face away Tottenham, their current fixture against leaders Manchester City.

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Second place Chelsea are one point behind City, with a better goal difference. Following Wednesday’s game, the teams will conclude their league campaigns on Sunday when host Hayes, Reading and City face West Ham away from home.

Hayes, whose side will face Barcelona in the Champions League final in Gothenburg on May 16, stressed that “we have to deliver on both fronts”.

The 44-year-old said: “Imagine we lost (against Bayern) and you have to play on Wednesday, and you have to pick a losing locker room, imagine how difficult it is in my position.

“From a winning position I can get them to do anything. From a losing position, that would have been a big challenge. It was on my mind before the game. I kept thinking, “If we want to win the league, we still have to win these two games – please win”, because I think that would be an impossible task.

“We have to deliver on both fronts. I want to win the league, as much as anything. It’s your bread and butter. That’s what Vic (Akers) taught me – it’s your bread and butter.

Chelsea are only the second English team to reach the final of continental competition, following the 2007 effort of an Arsenal side which had Hayes working as an assistant boss under Akers.

This team has won a quadruple, which this Chelsea side can also achieve, with the Continental League Cup already secured.

Chelsea playmaker Fran Kirby, who scored twice in the win over Bayern, called the victory “unbelievable” but urged the team not to lose sight of the league.

She said on the club’s official website: “We have been in this competition for a long time and I was there in the first season we started in this competition.

“I saw how we grew up and how we grew as a team. Everyone gave their all, there were bodies involved and it’s really special.

“It’s one of the most important wins, but for us we have to focus on what we still have to do.

“We have the league we want to win and then we have the one we want to win too. We cannot be happy to have reached the final. “

Chelsea are preparing to face a side Tottenham who are eighth in the WSL table guaranteed not to fall and winless in their last nine league games, two of which have been draws.