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Chelsea 1 Bayern Munich 0
Chelsea will take a single goal advantage to Germany after a 10th minute Drew Spence goal was the first leg decider in their UEFA Champions League First Round tie against Bayern Munich.
Unlike in their previous encounters with German opposition, Chelsea avoided the defensive frailties which led to first leg deficits. However, the Blues rode their luck in the second half as the visitors missed several good chances and were further frustrated by brave defending and good saves by Hedvig Lindahl.
Spence finished off a good move down the right involving Hannah Blundell and Ramona Bachmann to give Chelsea some early confidence. Bayern were always threatening with Melanie Leupolz hitting a post from close range on 18 minutes. A Bachmann free kick set up Millie Bright for a towering far post header which drifted agonisingly wide with Manuela Zinsburger beaten few minutes later.
Nicole Rolser nearly levelled for the visitors with a cushioned volley from a Melanie Behringer cross, but Lindahl reacted well to tip over on 32 minutes. Chelsea were able to exert pressure on the Bayern defence at times but without creating many clear chances and will have been pleased to reach the break in the lead
Bayern upped the tempo on the restart and Dominika Scorancova was denied by a fine sprawling block from Lindahl on 47 minutes. Chances continued to fall to the visitors as Chelsea were penned back in their own half for long periods. unable to create any forward momentum.
Leupolz. Fridolina Rolfo and Behringer all had shots saved or deflected wide by last ditch defending but the best chance for an equaliser fell to sub Lineth Beerensteyn who drove wide of the target when a right wing cross found her alone six yards out.
Chelsea gradually managed to find ways to relieve some of the pressure with subs Eniola Aluko and Crystal Dunn offering a stronger threat. but their only real dangerous effort came when an outswinging corner by Magdalena Eriksson was met by a header over the bar from Bright.
Bayern kept pressing right to the end but the away goal they craved never came and Chelsea will know that a goal in the return will give them every chance of progression, even though the second half was a warning of the size if the task which awaits them in Munich next Wednesday.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Chelsea celebrate Drew Spence's goal
(middle) Maria Thorisdottir tricks her way past Simone Laudehr
(bottom) Millie Bright is challenged by Nicole Rolser
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