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Champions League Semi-Final Preview: Bayern vs Chelsea


Bayern Munich vs Chelsea (Leg 1 of 2)

FC Bayern Campus Platz 1, Munich, Germany

Kickoff: April 25th, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. EST

Bayern Munich will host Chelsea for the first leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final. Here’s a look at how both teams got here. 

Out of the four semifinalists, Bayern arguably had the easiest opponent in the quarter-finals against Swedish side, FC Rosengård, which was certainly refreshing, given that last season, they were eliminated from the competition by eventual champions Olympique Lyonnais. 

In the first leg, Bayern dominated from the first whistle. Rosengård were set up in a very defensive formation, with hopes that they would be able to keep Bayern out and nick a goal on a counter-attack. However, they situated themselves too deep in their own half, and with Bayern controlling most of the possession, they had ample chances to score. 

The first goal came in the ninth minute from Linda Dallmann, who was left wide open to take the powerful shot. The second goal came about 10 minutes later from Klara Bühl. 

After half-time, Bayern finished it off in the 65th minute with a goal from Lineth Beerensteyn, making it 3-0.

From there on out, they defended well and ensured that Rosengård would not walk away with any away goals.

Going into the second leg, FC Rosengård were much more attacking-minded; they had to be given that they needed to score at least four goals to advance to the semis. However, the match simply became a formality when Bayern’s Lea Schüller scored the only goal of the match, giving Bayern complete control with the crucial away goal.

Going into the matchup against Bayern, Chelsea will already have experienced playing a German team, given that their quarter-final opponent was VfL Wolfsburg, who they beat 5-1 on aggregate. 

Wolfsburg are a team that have had Chelsea’s number in the past in this competition, so the English champions did have a lot to prove going into this tie. The first leg was smooth sailing at first for Chelsea, with Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder scoring in the 55th and 66th minute respectively, giving them a 2-0 lead. 

However, Wolfsburg pulled one back after Dominique Janssen scored a penalty, giving the German side an away goal. 

Going into the second leg with a 2-1 scoreline, tensions were high because of the tight margins. The first twenty minutes of the match was extremely back and forth, and it truly looked like it could be anyone’s game, with both sides getting chances. It was Chelsea who struck first, with Harder scoring a penalty in the 27th minute.

The goal definitely seemed to deflate any optimism that Wolfsburg had, and four minutes later, Chelsea struck again, with Kerr scoring the second.

Fran Kirby made it 3-0 in the 81st minute, ensuring that Chelsea would advance to the semi-finals.

This semi-final matchup will showcase how both teams can handle pressure. Both Bayern Munich and Chelsea have never gotten past the semi-finals in the Champions League. Neither can rely on experience anymore. Instead, it’ll be about who has more grit, determination, and the better tactics to beat the other. Either way, it should be a thriller.