Lauren James scored a brace to help Chelsea Women produce one of the comprehensive football results of the weekend in the Women’s Champions League. Emma Hayes declined to comment on the possible outcomes of Thursday’s match, noting that a draw or loss by one goal would still qualify them as group champions. She also adhered to her promise to go all-out for victory. Just before halftime, Sam Kerr (42) gave Chelsea the lead, and when the Blues took advantage of a mistake by PSG goalkeeper Sarah Bouaddi, James (55) scored her first Champions League goal. James’ second European goal (62) was scored following a superb Chelsea move, not too far behind the buses on Fulham Road.
PSG started off well in west London and came close to scoring an incredible opening goal. Zecira Musovic was caught off guard when Kadidiatou Diani received the ball at her feet as a result of a poor Chelsea pass. Seeing Musovic fumbling, she tried her luck from 40 yards out, but the shot hit the top of the crossbar. However, Chelsea soon started to settle in at Stamford Bridge and started to accumulate chances. Fran Kirby was running down the left side when Erin Cuthbert sent her a pass in the 20th minute. After that, the forward swung a fantastic pass into the box, but James missed the target at the back post.
The England international then put Bouaddi to the test twice. James’ initial attempt was stopped by the goalie as she cut into the box from the right flank with some lovely footwork. The PSG goalkeeper then used an outstretched palm to block James’ strike after some excellent link-up play from the former. Just before halftime, Chelsea finally started to exert pressure that paid off. When Sakina Karchaoui failed to catch a loose ball, Kerr was able to grab it and drive goalward. Before launching a powerful strike to see the hosts ahead, she easily turned past Elisa De Almeida who was standing just inside the area.
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