Match: Chelsea Women vs Aston Villa Women
Competition: Continental Tyres League Cup Quarter-Final
Date: Wednesday 15th January 2020
Eriksson 55, Ju So-Yun 80, Emily Murphy 90
Rogers, Hutton (Welsh), Haigh, N’Dow, Ale, Ewers (Hassall), West, Hanssen, Hayles (Johnson), Follis, Haywood. Unused subs: Kosinska, Warner, Richards.
Story in brief
Valiant Villa frustrated Super League giants Chelsea in their quarter-final tie before eventually succumbing to their quality in the second half.
Facing a host of England internationals and arguably the best striker in the women’s game in Sam Kerr, Gemma Davies’ side knew they would have to defend well.
And for 45 minutes they frustrated the Blues as chances came and went for the hosts in a goalless first half.
Magdalena Eriksson eventually broke Villa’s resistance ten minutes after the restart, heading home from a corner.
It stayed 1-0 up until the 80th minute when substitute Ji So-Yun fired home.
But Villa weren’t about to roll over and they set up a nervy finish for the home side when Kerri Welsh rounded the ‘keeper and scored moments after coming on.
Emily Murphy added a third in injury time to add some gloss to the scoreline as Villa’s cup run came to an end.
Before a ball was kicked, this Aston Villa team had already made history by reaching the League Cup Quarter-Finals for the first time.
Five games in the group stage saw Gemma Davies’ team win three, draw one and lose one, while scoring 12 goals.
There’s no shame in defeat against one of the best sides in the country, and it acted as proof of how far the team have come over the past two seasons.
Goalkeeper Sian Rogers looked set to be in for one of the toughest evenings of her young career when Chelsea named Sam Kerr in their line-up.
Dubbed by some as the best women’s player on the planet, Kerr is the Australian captain and a talismanic goalscorer.
But Rogers was equal to most of what the striker and her Chelsea teammates could throw at her, with the post coming to her rescue on occasion.
Rogers has been one of Villa’s standout players this season and she was rewarded with a new deal in November as she continues to make a name for herself in the game.
Test against the best
Chelsea didn’t take Villa lightly and that was evident in their team selection.
Eight of the Blues’ starting XI are senior internationals for their respective countries, with world class forward Ji So-Yun also on the bench.
Villa added top tier talents like Marisa Ewers, Emma Follis and Shania Hayles in the summer, but most of their squad has never tasted Super League football, making their endeavours even more impressive.
The club are hoping to earn promotion this season, and Wednesday’s performance shows they can already compete with the best.
The Women have a weekend off before they prepare to host top tier Brighton on 26th January in the FA Cup Third Round.
Tickets cost £5 adults and £2 concessions when purchased online here.