January 28, 2022

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Pernille Harder strikes late against old club to hand Chelsea a point

2 min read

An injury-time goal from forward Pernille Harder earned Chelsea a point against her former team Wolfsburg after a period of calamitous defending looked to have handed the German team victory in the Champions League.

Firm favourites going into the Group A clash, last season’s runners up took the lead through Sam Kerr but three mix-ups between goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger, so often the hero last season, and the players in front of her allowed the two-time Champions League champions to take a 3-1 lead before Beth England got one back and Harder poked in late on to send the frustrated Kingsmeadow crowd wild.

Chelsea started very positively- pushing the Germans back from the first blast of the whistle, Pernille Harder, Guro Reiten and Sam Kerr all had half chances that a bit more composure would have seen converted into goal.

But on 12 minutes Kerr latched onto a long ball, raced clear of the stuttering Wolfsburg rearguard, before producing the composure needed and clipped the ball over Almuth Schult with the outside of her right boot and the ball nestled comfortably into the back of the net to put then Blues 1-0 up.

A total mixup between Chelsea stopper and Erin Cuthbert, the only error in the opening 18 minutes saw the ball fall to Tabea Wabmuth who skipped around Berger to poke the ball into the empty net for a surprise equaliser.

Some wonderful tricky football by Reiten and Harder saw the ball squared to Beth England. But the striker’s left-footer was scuffed, on target, but Schult snaffled it.

This was quickly followed by another smart move. But again the final part of the move was a shot by Melanie Leupolz that thundered wide of goal on 26 minutes.

Disaster struck again on 32 minutes when Berger needlessly kicked an aimless goal-kick to Carter which Jill Roord took full advantage of and rammed home past hapless Berger.

Not long into the second half and another error extended Wolfsburg’s lead. A ball from deep was collected by Chelsea’s Jess Carter but the defender under-hit her pass in the direction of Berger and Wassmuth popped in and slid the ball into the net from a tight angle with the keeper at sea.

Three minutes later and Chelsea brought the margin back down. A Guro Reiten corner was eventually poked clear by Felicitas Rauch but it was straight at England who fired in.

With four minutes of added time the crowd roared their team forward and in the 92nd minute Leupolz nicked the ball from the feet of Dominique Janssen and fed Harder who poked in.

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