Chelsea take on Barcelona in the final of the 2020/2021 UEFA Women’s Champions League in Gothenburg on Sunday evening.
It will be Emma Hayes’ side’s first appearance in the final in what is just their fifth UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign.
Chelsea’s UEFA Women’s Champions League journey started on 8 October 2015 when they took on Glasgow City at Kingsmeadow in the first leg of their round of 32 tie. FAWSL Full-Time have dipped into the archives to go back to that game to see how The Blues lined up against the Scottish champions.
Swedish international Hedvig Lindahl started the game in goal for The Blues in what was the first year of what would turn out to be a memorable four-year spell in South West London. Manager Hayes had already labelled the keeper as ‘the best in the FAWSL’ and she would now get to prove her worth on the international stage.
In defence, Hayes named a back four of Hannah Blundell, Gilly Flaherty, who was the captain of the side, Niamh Fahey and Claire Rafferty. Blundell is one of just five survivors from the side that started that game who could be included this weekend.
In midfield, three of the four players to feature are still with The Blues today, those being Ji So-yun, Drew Spence and Millie Bright, who was playing higher up the park that she does in the present day. Gemma Davison, now of Tottenham Hotspur, completed the quartet.
Despite the 2015/2016 UEFA Women’s Champions League being their maiden European campaign, Chelsea still boasted plenty of attacking intent and quality with Eniola Aluko partnering Fran Kirby.
Manager Hayes used two substitutes in the match with Portuguese international Ana Borges coming on for Aluko and Laura Coombs replacing Spence. Marie Hourihane, Katie Chapman, Jodie Brett, Anne Meiwald and Rosella Ayane remained unused.
Chelsea would go on to win the first leg at Wheatsheaf Park in Staines 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Kirby. The Blues qualified for the round of 16 with a 4-0 aggregate victory but they would go no further in the competition with VfL Wolfsburg defeating them 4-1 on aggregate in the next round. The German side would go on to haunt Chelsea again in the two campaigns that would follow before the South West Londoners finally gained their revenge in 2020/2021.
This weekend could see Chelsea hopefully create another new chapter in their UEFA Women’s Champions League history if they defeat Barcelona and become European champions.