Sign up to Miguel Delaney’s Reading the Game newsletter sent straight to your inbox for free
Sign up to Miguel’s Delaney’s free weekly newsletter
Thanks for signing up to the
Jonatan Giraldez provided a positive update on Lucy Bronze after the England defender was forced off with a knee injury during Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.
The Barca right-back winced as she limped off in the second half after she went down with an issue to her right knee.
Bronze’s injury was a fresh scare for England manager Sarina Wiegman with both Beth Mead and Leah Williamson set to miss the World Cup with ACL tears.
“She felt something in her knee in the beginning,” Giraldez said.
“But in the end right now she’s fine. But at the moment we made the substitution the feeling was bad but right now the feeling she has is good.”
Emma Hayes labelled Barcelona’s performance as amazing and admitted Chelsea expected to suffer against the 2021 champions.
The Blues conceded in the fourth minute to Caroline Graham Hansen’s spectacular effort and struggled to muster any attacking threat throughout with just 30 per cent possession.
“We had a disappointing start,” Hayes said. “You have to be perfect to beat these guys, they’re amazing.
“Second half we have to be better on the ball in the right moments but it’s 1-0 and I’m grateful to be in the position where the tie wasn’t over in 25 minutes.
You’re going to be without the ball, one switch off, one positional error for us and it cost us the goal
“The whole team is phenomenal so you have to suffer, you’re going to be without the ball, one switch off, one positional error for us and it cost us the goal.”
Barcelona attackers threatened Ann-Katrin Berger’s goal with six shots on target, with Marta Torrejon’s header hitting the post.
Hayes credited her brave defenders for keeping Chelsea alive in the tie by keeping the score 1-0.
“I think we limited them to few chances as we possibly could of and I’ll take that going into the next leg. For me I want to be in the tie going into the next game and we’re in the tie,” she said.
“The team as a whole defended as well as we could, they executed everything that we’d asked from them. The back three can all be very proud of their performance and did the best they could.
“Maren (Mjelde) had an exceptional game but that’s what we expect with her, she’s had to manage back from a lot of injury so to put in that performance, what a shift from her.”
Besides Guro Reiten’s disallowed strike in the first half, attacking chances for Chelsea were hard to come by.
Hayes said: “We did that too often to be fair (quick ball to Sam Kerr). We had a very deliberate plan to go forward and I don’t think we did that very well. We skipped the pass we were suppose to make too often.
“You aren’t going to pepper them with the same volume of chances that they get on you so that’s why I said it has to be a perfect game and I think we’re disappointed with our forward play but we’ll work on it.”
Source: Read Full Article