Harder’s second half strike helps Chelsea to Champions League victory over Juventus | OneFootball
Harder’s second half strike helps Chelsea to Champions League victory over Juventus
Pernille Harder netted the winning goal as Chelsea recorded a 2-1 victory over Juventus in Turin this evening in their latest UEFA Women’s Champions League group match.
The Dane fired home the winner from close range midway through the second half to settle a hard-fought contest in Italy.
The early stages of the game produced few quality goalscoring chances as both sides largely cancelled each other out. The hosts looked dangerous when putting crosses into the box and Barbara Bonansea went close with a header from one of those deliveries.
Chelsea took the lead on the half-hour from their first real chance. Erin Cuthbert received the ball on the right, with lots of work still to do. She cut in and darted into the area before slotting the ball low into the bottom corner of the Juventus net.
The lead was short-lived for The Blues with Juventus levelling the scoreline just six minutes later. Lisa Boattin floated a ball into the box and Bonansea expertly converted when under pressure from a Chelsea defender.
Emma Hayes’ side almost regained the lead on the stroke of half-time. Home keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin hesitated on a clearance and Sam Kerr got her body in-front of the ball. Fortunately for Peyraud-Magnin, the ball bounced the wrong side of the post.
It was Chelsea who provided the greater goal threat early in the second half with Melanie Leupolz firing over from range and Harder directing an effort narrowly wide of the near post. The Blues regained the lead in the 68th minute when the ball bobbled around in the Juventus box and Harder struck from 15 yards.
Kerr was then denied a goal by a stunning full-stretch save from Peyraud-Magnin as Chelsea searched for a third before The Blues weathered late Juventus pressure to cling onto a 2-1 win and an important three points.
Hayes’ side now have a great opportunity to kick on in their group with back-to-back games against group minnows Servette FCCF next month.