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Chelsea’s Women’s Champions League hopes are in jeopardy after Juventus Maintain their lead

At Kingsmeadow, where Sam Kerr was booked for shoving over a pitch invader, Juventus manager Joe Montemurro had a rare success in his battle with Chelsea counterpart Emma Hayes, as the Italian side earned a Champions League point.

“I’m not sure why he didn’t wait until the end, he could have gotten a picture then,” Hayes said of the encroacher who attempted to take a selfie with Chelsea captain Magda Eriksson. “In all seriousness, we have to consider player welfare and safety.”

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Chelsea drew 0-0 with Juventus in the Women’s Champions League.

Despite failing to score for the first time this season, Hayes praised her team’s tenacity in earning a point. “I’m not disappointed [that we didn’t score].” [After winning the FA Cup final], I’m exhausted.]

“We aren’t superhuman in any way.” Would it have been nice, easier to go into next week [qualified]? Yes, of course.”

Hayes had predicted Juventus’ intentions, predicting that in their second group stage meeting, the Italian team would play for a draw.

With Servette, Group A’s cannon fodder, up next for Juventus and former Arsenal manager Montemurro, three points in Turin next week will now be enough for them to advance regardless of the result between Chelsea and Wolfsburg on the same night.

“It’s incredible,” Montemurro exclaimed. “All we wanted to do was get into the group stages and use this year as a learning experience.”

“We’re really at a crucial turning point right now,” midfielder Martina Rosucci said. Other European clubs are starting to notice Juventus’ strengths, and that we’re not an easy team to beat. Football in Italy is evolving and improving.”

Chelsea's Women Champions League news
Chelsea’s Women Champions League news

Hayes was correct in her prediction of how Juventus would line up. They were largely confined to their own half for the first 45 minutes, failing to register a single shot in comparison to Chelsea’s 11, with former Arsenal goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin called into action on several occasions to keep the game goalless. Chelsea’s best play came from wide players Guro Reiten and Erin Cuthbert, who both forced PeyraudMagnin to make routine saves early on.

Just before the half-hour mark, Kerr came closest to breaking the deadlock, beating Martina Lenzini to Ji So-clearance yun’s and rounding the goalkeeper before firing wide of the far post from a tight angle. Kerr could only head Fran Kirby’s teasing clipped ball to the far post over the crossbar moments later, with the pass a little high for her.

Millie Bright attempted a long-range shot, but Peyraud-Magnin tipped her effort over the bar.

Hayes’ players and the boisterous home crowd were frustrated in the second half when Kerr appeared to have broken the deadlock on 57 minutes by tapping in Kirby’s cross, but she was correctly flagged offside.

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Chelsea were dominant, but only five of their 17 shots on target were on target. Late in the game, Kerr was booked for pushing over an unwelcome pitch invader, and Ann-Katrin Berger was given a yellow card for yelling at Barbara Bonansea, who had also been booked, for kicking Cuthbert in the shin while swinging at the ball.

Chelsea’s chances of progressing are now dependent on them taking something, anything, from the game in Germany, which is far from straightforward given Wolfsburg’s draw in London.

“I believe we had the most difficult group,” Hayes said. “Right now, being at the top of the group makes me very happy.” We’re gaining knowledge. My players have proven to be tough and deserving of a day off tomorrow.”

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