Chelsea Ladies beat Bayern to reach Champions League last 16
Chelsea Ladies survived a late scare as they lost in Germany but held on to knock Bayern Munich out of the Women’s Champions League on away goals.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg, England striker Fran Kirby’s clinical finish on 60 minutes doubled Chelsea’s advantage.
That left the German side needing three goals in the final half an hour and they found two, through Gemma Davison’s own goal and Lucie Vonkova’s tap-in.
But Chelsea survived a late rally to edge through and into the last 16.
Bayern thought they had snatched the tie deep in stoppage time when Simone Laudehr tucked in Melanie Behringer’s deep free-kick, but it was disallowed for a shove in the box.
Progression for Chelsea will go down as one of the finest results for a British women’s side in Europe, overcoming one of the highest-rated teams in this year’s competition.
Of 12 previous knockout meetings between British and German women’s clubs in Uefa competitions, 11 had ended with the German outfit going through.
And Emma Hayes’ improving Chelsea, who are competing in Europe for a third consecutive season, had been eliminated by German opposition in Wolfsburg in each of the past two campaigns.
Away goal proves decisive
Bayern, who reached the quarter-finals in Europe last term, should have scored early in the second leg but Germany striker Mandy Islacker tucked over from close range.
Chelsea then edged the remainder of the first half but their away goal came against the run of play in the second when Kirby raced clear and drilled in to the top corner.
Things got nervy for the English side when Davison diverted a Bayern corner into her own net and then Vonkova netted after Chelsea keeper Hedvig Lindahl uncharacteristically spilled the ball at her feet.
But the hosts were frustrated by crucial blocks from England defender Millie Bright and Laudehr’s late disallowed goal, and there were tears from Bayern’s players after the final whistle brought an end to an exhausting tie.
Women’s FA Cup winners Manchester City, who lead Austrian side St Polten 3-0 in their tie, are at home for their second leg on Thursday.
Bayern Munich: Zinsberger, Lewandowski, Demann, Berhinger (c), Rolfo, Skorvankova, Maier (Beerensteyn 71), Laudehr, Faisst, Islacker (Vonkova 56), Rolser (Leupolz 56)
Subs not used: Korpela, Roord, Wieder, Wenninger.
Chelsea: Lindahl; Bright, Flaherty, Eriksson, Blundell (Carney 77) Chapman (c), Mjelde, Thorisdottir, Spence (Dunn 55), Kirby (Davison 63), Bachmann.
Subs not used: Spencer, Aluko, Ji, Cuthbert.
Referee: Katalin Kulcsar (HUN)