Hayes hails ‘wise heads’ as Reiten and Cuthbert shine in Chelsea defeat of Lyon
EMMA HAYES praised Chelsea for delivering under pressure after their gritty 1-0 away defeat of Lyon.
Her side suffered an injury blow with Millie Bright set for a scan on after hobbling off during the Champions League quarters clash.
But Guro Reiten’s stunning strike after Erin Cuthbert’s tenacious assist saw the Blues claim a first-leg victory before their return game at Stamford Bridge.
Hayes said: “Erin hasn’t played since Continental Cup final. She had a hamstring injury.
She’s only been back in training on Monday with the team so I didn’t really know how her legs would be, but she’s got the heart of a lion
She delivered the job we were looking for.
“I’m used to seeing that from Erin, putting Guro in the position (to score).
“I said to Guro, ‘what a fabulous right foot you’ve got’. Maybe you could use it a little more often.”
It remains to be seen whether Bright will be fit for the second leg as well as Chelsea’s WSL clash with Manchester City on Sunday.
The Blues’ vice-skipper made a 44th-minute exit after clutching her knee following a duel for the ball.
And it could leave England sweating on the centre-back’s fitness with the Lionesses facing Brazil and Australia in April.
Hayes added: “Millie will have a scan on Thursday. I know she couldn’t carry on.”
Lyon had the most shots in the first half an hour capitalising on some misplaced passes from the visitors.
Eugenie Le Sommer fired wide after an 11th-minute flick on with Lindsey Horan’s shot prompting a save from Ann-Katrin moments later.
But it was Chelsea who took the lead with Cuthbert nutmegging Damaris Egurrola before a reverse pass to Reiten.
And the Blues winger made no mistake curling in a stunning 28th-minute top corner shot past Lyon goalkeeper Christiane Endler
The visitors came close doubling their advantage with Lauren James hitting the post shortly after.
The second spell saw the Blues soak up pressure with Magda Eriksson heading away Lindsey Horan’s 53rd minute header.
Erin Cuthbert came close to scoring moments later with her firm shot forcing a save from Endler.
Chelsea almost conceded after giving the ball away to Delphine Cascarino who hit the woodwork with 28 minutes of normal time left.
And Ann-Katrin Berger prevented a leveller claiming the ball following Sara Dabritz’s header.
The visitors held out to seal a result that puts them a step to a semi-finals spot.
Hayes added: “The pressure situations are moments that reveal your character, your wisdom, your knowledge and your experience.
“I think the team delivered those characteristics under pressure.
“I also believe if you build consistency in your habits every day, then every day is a Champions League game
“We’ve become accustomed to the competition and we played with a wise head.”
Source: The Sun
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