Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says that goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger deserves to receive all of the plaudits after saving two penalties in The Blues’ 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid at Kingsmeadow this evening.
The German international goalkeeper denied both Rasheedat Ajibade and Marel van Dongen from 12 yards as a Chelsea side which had been reduced to 10-players following the dismissal of Sophie Ingle battled to a round of 16 first leg victory in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
When speaking in the post-match press conference after the match in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Hayes singled out Berger to receive praise for her role in The Blues’ dramatic victory.
“I think she is an outstanding goalkeeper,” said Hayes. “She deserves the credit that she is quite rightly getting tonight.
“Goalkeepers don’t get spoken about enough. She has had a dramatic evening, two penalties, two saves, a kick in the head by her own player, I thought her all-round performance was outstanding.
“The stats back it up. She is the best shot stopper in the league, her ability to save penalties is second-to-none, everybody in our squad tells me that she is incredibly difficult to beat.
“Lets give her the credit tonight. Ann deserves it, she was absolutely brilliant.”
Hayes went on to add that bringing Berger to the club in early 2019 was all about recruiting a goalkeeper into her group who could continue the legacy of tonight’s opposite number Hedvig Lindahl and help her side compete even harder for silverware.
She added “She (Berger) is held in the highest regard in my dressing room by the team.
“That for me is a real measure of a player – what your teammates think of you. I know how highly they rate her.
“I persued bringing her to the club for about a 12-month period and I knew that once she accepted the proposal to come to Chelsea, we were really going to compete for trophies like we did during Hedvig’s legacy.
“She is younger and I think that hunger to win trophies was what made her decision to come here.”
Chelsea return to domestic action on Sunday when they travel to West Ham United in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.