Chelsea knocked out of Champions League after losing to Wolfsburg

Chelsea knocked out of Champions League after losing to Wolfsburg
Chelsea knocked out of Champions League after losing to Wolfsburg

Chelsea were knocked out of the Women’s Champions League with a 4-0 capitulation against Wolfsburg in their final group game.

Chelsea started the night top of Group A but eventually finished third behind Wolfsburg and Juventus.

All three sides finished equal on points but head-to-head results mean last year’s beaten finalists go out.

Two goals each from Svenja Huth and Tabea Wassmuth saw Wolfsburg win the group in stunning fashion.

Only two last-eight spots were available at the start of the night, with Chelsea, Wolfsburg and Juventus all capable of securing a spot in the knockout stage.

Chelsea needed just a point to finish top of the group but instead slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season.

‘Chelsea unrecognisable’

Blues manager Emma Hayes said she didn’t “recognise her team”, and blamed anxiety among her players over the Covid outbreak in the squad for the manner of the defeat.

Ann-Katrin Berger and Drew Spence did not fly to Germany for the decisive final group game after testing positive for coronavirus.

“They’re really, really difficult moments as a coach when you have so many players performing so poorly and they’re so disjointed and all over the place,” she said.

However, she added that it was “important” for her to say congratulations to Wolfsburg as they “deserved to go through”.

A loss by one goal would have been enough for Chelsea to squeeze through, but two-time competition winners Wolfsburg rattled the visitors with two quickfire goals from Huth in the first half.

Sam Kerr skimmed a shot off the crossbar before the break but Chelsea were generally well contained by the hosts.

Hayes went to her bench before the break, bringing Ji So-yun on for Sophie Ingle in an attempt to find a solution while they still had some hope of recovering.

Ji did test Wolfsburg goalkeeper Almuth Schult soon after coming on with a tame attempt, and while Fran Kirby also called the keeper into action with a volley early in the second half they were largely limited to half chances.

When Wassmuth was able to meet a pass from Huth before running into the box and poking the ball into the bottom corner, Chelsea’s hopes looked all but completely over with 30 minutes remaining.

Aniek Nouwen went closest to pulling a goal back when she crashed a header off the post, but Wassmuth smashed home a fourth soon after to put the result and the London club’s fate beyond doubt.

The decisive group game in Germany was the latest instalment in a fierce rivalry between two sides who have met in Europe’s top club competition five times in the past seven seasons.

Chelsea knocked out the five-time finalists last season, but this result saw Wolfsburg end Hayes’ side’s European campaign for a fourth time.

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