Chelsea face major UWCL test in quarter-final against defending champions Lyon

Chelsea face major UWCL test in quarter-final against defending champions Lyon

Chelsea face title-holders Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday evening at the OL Stadium as the Blues continue their hunt for European glory.

The match-up is enticing, with the eight-time European winners representing nothing short of a litmus test for Chelsea’s Champions League credentials as they bid to become the first English side to claim the title since Arsenal 2007.

Chelsea can take confidence from their group stage performances, in which they touted an undefeated record against Real Madrid, minnows Vllaznia, and last season’s semi-finalists Paris Saint-Germain, who have gotten the better of Lyon this season in the French top-flight.

Emma Hayes’ side have eclipsed last year’s disappointing European campaign where they failed to progress from the group stages on goal difference to Juventus. In their four trips to the competition’s quarter-finals, Chelsea have never gone out in the last eight.

Yet, history heavily favours Lyon, who have one 12 of their last 13 Champions League quarter-finals. And following their surprise 5-1 defeat to Arsenal to open the group stages this season, the serial champions have returned emphatically to winning ways after welcoming back a slew of players from injuries, the impact of which was underlined as Lyon claimed a 1-0 win over Arsenal in the reverse fixture.

And Hayes and co. will have to prepare for a heady contest at OL Stadium. The Blues last shared a pitch with Europe’s best during the 2018/19 campaign as an engrossing and dramatic two-legged semi-final draw slipped ever so cruelly away in the second leg.

Lyon seized a 2-1 victory in the first leg in France, but Erin Cuthbert’s goal teed up an enticing return leg at Kingsmeadow.

And while Eugenie Le Sommer’s deflected shot threatened to put the game beyond the Blues, Ji So-Yun delivered a superb free-kick to bring the game back level. Karen Carney smacked the post as Chelsea continued to push for extra time but a berth in the final ultimately fell to Lyon as they won 3-2.


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