Chelsea reached their sixth Continental Cup semi-final in as many seasons as they eased past Tottenham at Brisbane Road. A brace from Sam Kerr and strike from Fran Kirby set Emma Hayes’ side up for a 3-1 victory over their London rivals.
There will never be a year quite like 2022. Of that, I am quite certain.
As I sit here reflecting into the early hours of New Year’s Eve, I occasionally have to pinch myself to remember it happened. As with all memories, they fade to the point where they can sometimes feel like a dream. That’s what this year, and this summer in particular, really were…a dream.
“There is a maturity to the team that’s coming through in each performance,” stated Emma Hayes after Chelsea secured their third victory of the 2022/23 Champions League campaign.
While it wasn’t a scintillating performance as the Blues saw their way through a potentially tricky Real Madrid encounter, it was one that was controlled and well managed. As Hayes pointed out, Chelsea’s experience showed as she labelled her group “the best team” she’s had. “When these teams are so evenly matched, I’m starting to see the benefit of our experience,” she said. “Look at my group and the leaders in my group. I thought two years ago, we had a decent amount of experience, but this team is another level.”
The second night of Champions League action saw Chelsea travel to Paris for a highly anticipated encounter against PSG. They edged to a 1-0 victory thanks to a first half goal from Millie Bright, completing a successful week for English teams in France.
If a lifetime of consuming football teaches you anything, it is to always expect the unexpected. But even with full awareness of that, some events just take you by surprise. Sitting in the Groupama Stadium watching Arsenal lead the European Champions 5-1 with 20 minutes to play was one such moment. Jonas Eidevall described it as “a special night” after his side inflicted Lyon’s heaviest defeat since April 2006.
Wales continued their World Cup dream on Thursday night as they edged past plucky Bosnia-Herzegovina in extra-time. Jess Fishlock’s sensational volley in the 105th minute saw them set up a Play-Off Final meeting with Switzerland in Zurich on Tuesday evening.
Games do not come much bigger than this – the European Champions against the World Champions in front of a sold-out Wembley under the lights. Lionesses’ manager, Sarina Wiegman [SW], and newly-crowned Player of. the Year, Beth Mead [BM] sat down with the media ahead of another major challenge for the England side.
It was an evening of controversy, fiery challenges and torrential rain as Arsenal squeaked past Ajax to reach the Group Stage of the Champions League. A sole goal from Vivianne Miedema saw the Gunners through in a scrappy affair in Amsterdam.