Chelsea cruise to victory over Ajax in Women’s Champions League quarter-final

By Staff

Sjoeke Nusken was the star of the show as Chelsea took a big step towards the Women’s Champions League semi-finals. She scored twice in their 3-0 win over Ajax in the first leg of the quarter-final on Tuesday.

Emma Hayes’ team continued their quest for European success, showing off their attacking prowess at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Lauren James also found the back of the net, and summer signing Nusken added two more to give Chelsea a comfortable lead ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge later this month.

Chelsea went ahead after 19 minutes when James and Nusken, who had both shone in the Blues’ 3-1 victory over Arsenal in the Women’s Super League last week, teamed up again. Nusken attempted to pass the ball through the Ajax defence, but it deflected off two players before James rounded the goalkeeper to score.

Chelsea thought they had doubled their lead through Guro Reiten, but a long VAR check ruled it out. James used her skill to find Reiten in the box, but her shot was deflected by the offside Nusken, leaving Chelsea disappointed.

Reiten had been a constant threat down the left wing all night and made another dangerous run before Chelsea scored their second goal. The Norwegian winger charged forward and delivered a perfect cross to Nusken, who didn’t hesitate to finish first time.

This showed Chelsea’s clinical finishing and strengthened their position in the tie and they were in control up to this point. They started the second half with the same energy and had long periods of ball possession before Nusken missed an opportunity to make it 3-0.

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A quick pass was sent into the box and after Reiten skillfully beat her marker in the air and knocked it down, Nusken leaned back too far and sent her shot way over the bar though. Chelsea would get their third when Catarina Macario made an immediate impact when she came off the bench, assisting the third goal.

The speedy winger sent a cross from the right towards Nusken, who was ready in the box. She jumped highest and headed the ball powerfully into the net to cap off a superb night for the Blues.

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