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Chelsea fill fridges for women’s players on lockdown

It’s a bad year but only kindness makes it better :wub:

https://weaintgotnohistory.sbnation.com/chelsea-fc-women/2020/12/25/22199216/chelsea-fill-fridges-for-womens-players-on-lockdown

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

Chelsea FCW’s last match of 2020 was supposed to be a London derby versus Tottenham Hotspur on the 13th of December, but that was postponed after positive COVID-19 results at the club. Given the positive tests, plus London entering Tier 4 lockdown due to the rise of cases throughout the capital, the holidays will be very different for most, including the players.

As such, many Chelsea players are having to spend the holiday alone as they quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus. In a thoughtful move, Chelsea provided players with a full stock of food so that they may at least have pleasant holiday meals.

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Well done, Chelsea! These sorts of courtesies and kindnesses, especially from the distances in which we have to remain separated, are needed even more this year, and mean so much.

BONUS: Also, as a holiday gift for you, here’s captain Magdalena Eriksson and her partner, Chelsea forward Pernille Harder, in matching Christmas pajamas.

 

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YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Emma Hayes: "For those of you that are winning your first title with us, get used to it. That's what we do. Winning is what we do at this football club"

Hope we get the title. That is the very least I want out of FA’s baffled decision.

Sublime Pernille Harder has now become the best player in the WSL

https://theathletic.com/2380686/2021/02/11/sublime-pernille-harder-has-now-become-the-best-player-in-the-wsl/

Sublime-Pernille-Harder-has-now-become-the-best-player-in-the-WSL.jpg

Just ten days ago, it felt like Pernille Harder’s Chelsea career had not yet truly exploded into life.

Granted, of the 17 matches Harder had played since signing in the summer, she had won 15 of them. The other two were draws against Manchester United, when she only played 10 minutes on her debut, and against Arsenal, when she forced the late own goal that earned Chelsea a point. Not too shabby. We were, however, still waiting to see Harder justify her world-record fee.

And then came three significant matches in the development of Chelsea this season. The first was the 6-0 thrashing of West Ham last week in the Continental Cup, where Harder scored a hat-trick comprised of two outstanding goals and one utterly dreadful one — a tap-in after goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold had almost tripped over her own feet trying to play out from the back.

The other two demonstrated precisely what Harder is all about; a player capable of operating as a deep forward and a ruthless goal scorer simultaneously. The first saw her gesturing for a Ji So-Yun pass while picking up speed through midfield, collecting the ball just in front of the defence, taking a perfect first touch that would have been considered heavy if it was not for the fact she knew she boasted the speed to get on the end of it, and then perfectly dinking the ball home from an angle.

The hat-trick goal was a brilliant piece of footwork featuring three touches apiece with the inside and outside of her right foot, which allowed her to collect a pass between her legs while on the run, before launching a dipping effort from the edge of the D into the net. It was her first Chelsea hat-trick, and while six months is hardly a long period without scoring three times in a game, it is worth remembering that Harder scored four hat-tricks in five games for club and country in 2019-20.

The next significant display came at the weekend, when Harder did not start. Chelsea, unthinkably, lost their two-year unbeaten record, the longest in WSL history, to a Brighton side who had not won since mid-November, who had lost 7-1 to Manchester City and 3-0 to bottom-placed Bristol City. The statistics told the story: Chelsea had 76 per cent possession and recorded 2.5 xG compared to Brighton’s 0.3, who scored both goals from corners. It was an unfortunate defeat, yet Emma Hayes’ decision to rest Harder, as well as Ji and Fran Kirby, could not be ignored.

They were rested with last night’s game against Arsenal in mind. All three returned, but Harder did not merely regain her place, she was handed the central No 10 role, where she had shone for Wolfsburg en route to being voted the Champions League’s best player last season. This was significant. Last month, in the crucial top-of-the-table clash against Manchester United, Harder had been moved to the right, with the in-form Kirby preferred through the middle. It was a logical decision to benefit Kirby, but Harder was peripheral.

Here, she was central to everything. Hayes switched to a diamond midfield, with Kirby and Sam Kerr again the front two, but with Sophie Ingle introduced to bring some solidity to the midfield and Harder between the lines.

And this was Harder’s chance — it is all very well scoring three goals in a 6-0 win over a poor West Ham side in a somewhat unloved cup, but this was a genuinely big game. Harder needed to respond, to prove she can justify the WSL’s reigning champions breaking up their existing structure and basing their side around her. She responded: within 10 seconds she had won a header from a long ball to win a corner. That was whipped into the box and narrowly evaded her head. And then, from the next attack, Harder got her head to a right-wing cross for the game’s first attempt at goal.

Almost everything revolved around her. She battled back to win possession in midfield, snapping at the heels of Lia Walti, Arsenal’s metronomic deep-lying playmaker, before drifting into pockets of space either side when Chelsea won possession. Lydia Williams, Arsenal vociferous Australian goalkeeper, spent the evening bellowing instructions to Walti and Arsenal’s defenders about Harder’s positioning, evidently worried by her goalscoring threat.

And it is no wonder, because after Arsenal had dominated shortly before half-time and made a positive start to the second half, Harder took the game away from them. When Walti got drawn towards Kirby, Harder found space 25 yards out, looked up and drove it into the bottom corner. It was not a thunderbolt, it was not dipping or swerving, it was just a pure, efficient, no-nonsense strike.

Her second was perhaps better, rounding off a fine passing move down the left by absolutely belting the ball into the top of the net. Arsenal had not done much wrong, and had arguably created the better chances, but now found themselves 2-0 down largely thanks to the individual brilliance of one player.

 

Harder continued to link play excellently, coming deep to receive possession before arrowing a pass in behind for Kirby, playing the No 10 role expertly. It was notable that Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema dropped increasingly deep, frustrated with her lack of service and attempting to play the Harder role as an extra midfielder, leaving Lisa Evans and Beth Mead as wide forwards. But for Arsenal this felt spontaneous and a sign of growing desperation, whereas Chelsea’s use of Harder as the No 10 was very much the plan from the outset. Harder’s defensive diligence, incidentally, extended to tracking back and dispossessing Miedema herself at one stage, which seemed almost mocking when combined with the Dane’s remarkably distinctive running style — bolt upright, almost bouncing up and down rather than visibly driving forward, and yet capable of taking her past opponents at will.

A passage of play three minutes from time summarised Harder’s performance — she won possession in the right-back zone, launched a counter-attack down that flank while making a run through the centre — and, as she pushed forward in search of a hat-trick, had the presence of mind to gesture substitute Guro Reiten into a wider position on the left, in preparation for a switch of play that eventually never came. That would have been an appropriate place to leave things, but then Kirby played a fine one-two with Beth England, before streaking away to score a breakaway third for Chelsea.

As the players walked off the pitch, the inevitable song played out around Kingmeadow: Daft Punk’s Harder, Stronger, Better, Faster. It is a fitting anthem for a player who won headers, won tackles, outpaced opponents, linked play expertly, scored two outstanding goals. It took a few months for us to witness Harder’s best form, but in this mood she is the WSL’s best footballer, and fully deserving of being the most expensive player in women’s football history.

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Chelsea Women are basically Man City in the men’s league.

The real test is the Women’s CL. They won every cup in the last 5 years BUT that.

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And the Chelsea Women team just reached the Champions League semi finals, beating Wolfsburg 5-1 on aggregate. 

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No, they will get the winner of the Bayern München/Rosengard tie. Either way it will arguably not as hard a test as Wolfsburg.

I am not much into women's footy but this Chelsea ladies side is the quickest, most cohesive and clinical women's team I have seen so far. Every time I see them they just look so much sharper than the opposition.

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Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr are on fire. Unstoppable. We should really be in the shout to finally win that CL.

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Beat Bayern in the 2nd leg of the semis! Massive ☺️

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL HERE WE COME!!! 
Enjoyed watching the game. Was nervous in the 2nd half but well done to the ladies. Can’t wait for the final, hopefully the men will do the same.

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Posted (edited)

many congrats to Emma and the girls, history makers, now go and win the cup. KTBFFH ❤️🔝💪🥰

Edited by Johnnyeye
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Who we play in final? 

Also gotta give credit to Roman for investing in women's team, youth etc... 

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2 hours ago, Mana said:

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL HERE WE COME!!! 
Enjoyed watching the game. Was nervous in the 2nd half but well done to the ladies. Can’t wait for the final, hopefully the men will do the same.

The away goal rule will do that to you. 🙂 Some hate it but I love it. Adds an extra dimension to European football.

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1 hour ago, OhForAGreavsie said:

The away goal rule will do that to you. 🙂 Some hate it but I love it. Adds an extra dimension to European football.

every time i hear about the away goal rule i keep getting flashbacks of that Iniesta goal in 2009, fuck Ovrebo, i will never forgive him and UEFA for that scandal 🤬😡😖

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