Chelsea boss Emma Hayes is overwhelmed with emotion following her side’s progression to their first-ever UEFA Women’s Champions League final, although celebrations could be chilled due to the club’s ongoing Barclays FA Women’s Super League title push.
The Blues qualified for the final after seeing off Bayern Munich 4-1 in their semi-final second leg tie at Kingsmeadow this afternoon, winning the tie 5-3 on aggregate.
Having trailed 2-1 from the first leg, goals from Fran Kirby and Ji So-Yun in the first half of the second leg gave the hosts a way back into the tie, sandwiching a long range goal for Sarah Zadrazil. The game was put to bed with 10 minutes remaining on the clock with a Pernille Harder strike and another goal from Kirby, gifting Hayes’ side their first-ever UEFA Women’s Champions League final appearance.
Speaking in her post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Hayes commented “I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I can’t describe it. I almost can’t let the tears go.
“How do you describe the pride you have for the club you represent, for the people you represent? I’m a very maternal figure in here and I’m so happy for everyone.
“I think there were two moments late on that I was hanging on for dear life. Everybody executed what I asked them to do. We’re there, we’re in the final.”
Hayes knew that her squad would be in with a chance of reaching the final this season and she even predicted before the start of the campaign that her squad would take on Barcelona in the final.
She added “I said this time last year the Champions League final will be Chelsea-Barcelona. That’s what I told my head of performance and he said why them? I said it’s either them or PSG and if we avoid PSG or Barcelona then I fancy us.
“I am happy to play Barcelona in a one-off game in a neutral venue. Spanish teams are tricky, we know how well they possess the ball but I know how much talent we’ve got. We’re going there to win it.”
The prospect of achieving the quadruple is still on the cards for Chelsea but Hayes’ next priority for her side is to win both of their remaining league games and secure the Barclays FA Women’s Super League title.
“The biggest game of our lives is Wednesday night,” Hayes said. “I want to win the league, there’s no celebrating tonight.
“OK, I’ll have a glass of champagne but my mind’s on Tottenham, starting tomorrow. The players will be in bright and early, they’re not getting the day off.”
Chelsea’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur takes place at 5.30pm on Wednesday evening.