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Chelsea 0 VfL Wolfsburg 3 (Jakabfi 11,39,53)
att: 3,783; at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea's aspirations of a good run in the UEFA Women's Champions League are all but over after they were outclassed by an excellent VfL Wolfsburg side at Stamford Bridge.
In front of what is a record attendance for a Champions League match in England outside of a Final, Wolfsburg underlined their credentials as twice winners of the competition with a commanding display and but for a good performance by Chelsea goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, could have won by a larger margin.
The first chance of the game went the way of the visitors in the sixth minute, when Anna Blasse's shot was turned around the post by Lindahl.
With eleven minutes gone though, Wolfsburg took their next opportunity from what had looked a harmless ball forward, however as Claire Rafferty tried to shepherd it back to Lindahl, Zsanett Jakabfi stole in to lob the stranded keeper and give Wolfsburg a valuable away goal.
The pace of the Wolfsburg strikers was constantly troubling the Chelsea defenders and Caroline Hansen was next to make a threatening run towards goal before her shot was saved low down by Lindahl.
Chelsea's first chance came as a Karen Carney shot was charged down following a long throw by Beth England but as the enforced introduction of Ji So-Yun in place of the injured Ana Marques Borges looked to have given Chelsea more impetus, the German side struck a devastating blow.
Lena Goessling released Lara Dickenmann on the left, where she produced a superb far post cross for Jakabfi to plant a firm downward header through the legs of Lindahl, Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir making sure but the ball had already crossed the line.
Alexandra Popp drilled a long range shot narrowly over the bar and Hansen should really have made it three after being set up by Dickenmann in the area as Wolfsburg continued to dominate.
Chelsea made a half time change with Gemma Davison coming on for Hannah Blundell and reverting to a flat back four. They did produce the first effort on goal although Katie Chapman lost her footing whilst attempting a shot and it drifted harmlessly wide.
The speedy Hansen again threatened at the other end as she skipped past Gilly Flaherty in the area before her shot was saved at the near post by Lindahl.
However disaster was to strike for Chelsea moments later as a stray pass from Millie Bright was seized upon by Hansen who raced into the area before unselfishly sliding the ball across goal for Jakabfi to complete her hat-trick.
It could have been worse just minutes later as Flaherty was caught in possession by Hansen who raced through on goal but Lindahl once again came to the rescue. Chelsea did pick themselves up to get down the other end though and Chapman produced a good effort from the other end which dipped just over the bar.
Lindahl once more saved her side as substitute Tessa Wullaert crossed from the left for Gunnarsdottir whose volley was blocked by the Chelsea keeper, who also did well to prevent her from putting in the rebound.
Wolfsburg continued to attack dangerously down the flanks and the excellent DIckenmann was again heavily involved, breaking down the left before producing a low cross which looked destined for Anja Mittag at the far post but Chapman managed to slide in and make a crucial interception. The resulting corner was headed wide by Babett Peter.
Lindahl again saved from Wullaert as she ran through from Almuth Schult's long clearance and as the game went into injury time, Mittag volleyed a great chance over the bar after Lindahl had punched away under pressure from Peter.
It had been a sobering night for Chelsea against outstanding opponents who are surely destined to be amongst the favourites to at least be in the Final at Cardiff next spring.
Chelsea: Hedvig Lindahl, Ana Borges (sub Ji So-Yun 27mins), Hannah Blundell (sub Gemma Davison 45mins), Millie Bright, Gilly Flaherty, Niamh Fahey, Katie Chapman, Karen Carney, Eniola Aluko, Beth England (sub Drew Spence 77mins), Claire Rafferty. Subs not used: Rebecca Spencer, Fran Kirby, Jade Bailey, Laura Rafferty.
VfL Wolfsburg: Almuth Schult, Zsanett Jakabfi (sub Anja Mittag 71mins), Niila Fischer, Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir, Babett Peter, Anna Blasse, Alexandra Popp, Lara Dickenmann, Caroline Hansen (sub Tessa Wullaert 62mins), Isabel Kerschowski, Lena Goessling (sub Julia Simic 89mins). Subs not used: Merle Frohms, Noelle Maritz, Vanessa Bernauer, Elise Bussaglia.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Anna Blasse under close attention from Katie Chapman
(middle) Niamh Fahey tries to win the ball from Alexandra Popp
(bottom) Tessa Wullaert attempts to block a clearance from Claire Rafferty
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