With the relative minnows of the group, the Swiss side Servette, having already been well beaten by Juventus (3-0) and Wolfsburg (5-0) in their first two games, the high-caliber trio Chelsea, Juventus and double champions Europe Wolfsburg looks set for a fascinating three-team battle for the top two places in the group to reach the quarter-finals.
And there are few more difficult places to come than to the champions Italy, who had won four Serie A titles in a row before the arrival of well-respected former Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro this summer. The hosts had won 11 successive matches in all competitions leading up to tonight’s clash and they are blessed with a wide range of talent, including many stars from the Italian squad who have reached the Cup quarter-finals. of the female world 2019.
Still, they fell behind as Chelsea frustrated them in a first half where the visitors controlled most of the ball and Scotland’s Erin Cuthbert recovered the ball from Harder and passed three defenders, bursting into the zone by the right to the beat and placed a low shot in the bottom corner.
Juventus’ defense was questionable, particularly Martina Rosucci’s utter failure to challenge the Scotswoman, but Cuthbert’s finish was clinical and briefly silenced the home crowd, shortly after Chelsea defender Millie Bright landed a powerful strike just outside the area.
Six minutes after falling behind, the ‘old lady’ came to life as Barbara Bonansea stole Lisa Boattin’s floating ball into the bottom corner, with Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger helpless. It was a well-taken finish that characterized the class of the Italian striker.
After half-time, a more determined-looking Chelsea opened up the best chances as Harder came close in width, shortly after deflecting another effort into the side net.
Valentina Cernoia wrapped up a wide free kick for the hosts, before Harder – who produced the equalizer in Chelsea’s stoppage time against Wolfsburg seven days before – was the heroine again as she emerged to win the competition.
Chelsea were inches away from a third goal as Kerr’s suspension effort from the edge of the box was gripped beautifully in the woodwork by ex-Juventus Arsenal goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, but they pulled away. are well defended at the other end in the final stages.
Juventus (4-3-3): Peyraud-Magnin 8; Lundorf 6, Salvai 7 (Lenzini, 73), Gama 8, Boattin 7; Rosucci 5 (Caruso 6, 81), Pedersen 6 (Zamanian 5, 89), Cernoia 6; Bonansea 8 (Bonfantini 6, 72), Girelli 7 (Staskova 6, 81), Hurtig 8
Unused subtitles: Aprile (gk), Hyyrynen, Nilden, Giai, Beccari, Pfattner
Yellow cards: Nothing
Chelsea (3-4-3): Shepherd 6; Bright 6, Carter 5, Eriksson 7; Cuthbert 8 (Fleming 6, 66), Leupolz 6, Ji 7 (Ingle 6, 74) Reiten 7; Kirby 7 (Andersson 6, 83), Kerr 7, Harder 8
Unused subtitles: Mosovic (gk), Telford (gk), Nouwen, England, Mjelde, Charles, Spence, Fox
Yellow cards: Nothing
Arbitrator: Ivana Martincic (Croatia)