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Player ratings as wasteful Blues stumble to Champions League stalemate


FROM STAMFORD BRIDGE – Lacklustre Chelsea failed to conjure any magic against Champions League group leaders BK Hacken, settling for a meagre goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were nursing their wounds after a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of domestic rivals Arsenal over the weekend. The Blues had not been defeated by the same margins since their Champions League loss to Wolfsburg in 2021, and the defeat was clearly having an effect on the usually formidable side.

Returning to Stamford Bridge provided little benefit as they limped against a defensively strong Swedish opponent. Squandering chances and lacking creativity, the Blues had to share the spoils with Hacken as 22 shots and only five on target failed to produce a breakthrough.

The Blues sit second in Group D, with the pressure mounting on Hayes. The reverse fixture against Hacken next week is now a must-win to keep their chances of reaching the knockout stages alive.

How the game unfolded

Whilst Chelsea were pulling the strings despite some ambitious counter attacks from the visitors, it was a limp first half. Both sides were squandering their minimal chances, with the hosts in particular looking disconnected and fatigued.

Hayes would have taken a breath after Fran Kirby was able to continue just six minutes in as the pivotal midfielder clasped her knee and waved to the bench following a tackle.

Erin Cuthbert rattled the crossbar as her strike failed to rebound into the goal leaving the hosts dumfounded. Kirby and Cuthbert combined to try and take advantage of an open goal but defender Josefine Rybrink foiled their plans.

A well worked run from Niamh Charles failed to produce a lead as Chelsea’s lack of energy and cohesion saw another chance go begging.

Ten minutes into the second half Chelsea knocked the woodwork twice as the hosts were failing to execute in front of goal with any aplomb before Johanna Rytting Kaneryd was denied from close range by an expert stop from goalkeeper Jennifer Falk.

In classic Sam Kerr fashion, she got a leaping head to Lauren James’ pinpoint cross and barrelled the ball into the back of the net. But the strike was disallowed for offside.

Faltering into five minutes of stoppage time, James rolled a low strike in last ditch attempt to claim all three points but Falk’s outstretched hand prevented the Lionesses and Chelsea from stealing a win.

There was no breakthrough for Chelsea

There was no breakthrough for Chelsea / Warren Little/GettyImages

GK: Zecira Musovic – 6/10 – Had little to do throughout the game and seldom touched the ball.

RB: Eve Perisset – 7/10 – Her wicked corners were proving dangerous but lack of finishing product let her down.

CB: Kadeisha Buchanan – 6/10 – Having played few minutes this season, it was a dominant performance from the Canadian but conceded a few needless fouls.

CB: Jess Carter – 6/10 – Controlled but nervy from the centre-back who seemed to be lacking confidence after the weekend’s drubbing.

LB: Niamh Charles – 7/10 – Made some key runs and was dominant defensively but lacked a verve that was needed.

CM: Sophie Ingle – 5/10 – Faded into the background and was unable to make much impact.

CM: Erin Cuthbert – 8/10 – The only Chelsea player with any energy or spark. Had several key moments to score but was foiled by small margins.

RW: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd – 7/10 – Used pace well and was finding fruitful gaps in the visiting backline but her execution was lacking direction and skill.

CAM: Fran Kirby – 7/10 – Creativity was lacking compared to normal from the England midfielder.

LW: Guro Reiten – 7/10 – Positive considering she has only just returned from an injury.

ST: Sam Kerr – 6/10 – Squandered several chances, rattling the woodwork.

Substitutes

SUB: Lauren James (63′ for Rytting Kaneryd) – 7/10

SUB: Sjoeke Nusken (63′ for Cuthbert) – 7/10

SUB: Aggie Beever-Jones (73′ for Reiten ) – 7/10

SUB: Mia Fishel (79′ for Kirby) – 5/10

Subs not used: Hampton (GK), Fishel, Fleming, Mjelde, Brown.

Manager

Emma Hayes – 6/10 – Was limited on squad choices but both manager and team are clearly still feeling the effects of the tough loss Chelsea faced over the weekend.

GK: Jennifer Falk – 7/10 – Did well to limit the Blues’ threats and was dominant in making calls and catches. Pulled off two impressive stops to keep the sides level.

RB: Katariina Kosala – 6/10 – Struggled against Charles dominance but did well to deny Reiten any luck on the left flank.

CB: Josefine Rybrink – 6/10 – Made a big interference to foil Cuthbert’s attempt at an opener.

CB: Aivi Luik – 7/10 – Calm and collected from the Australian.

LB: Elma Junttila Nelhage – 6/10 – Defended against Chelsea’s main threats well.

MF: Marika Bergman-Lundin – 7/10 – Lost possession a few times but collected well and put in the yards to deny Chelsea a way through.

MF: Johanna Fossdalsa-Sorensen – 7/10 – Creative and tactical to form a solid defensive make up to keep the Blues tame.

RW: Anna Anvegard – 5/10 – Was unable to feed Larisey and struggled against Chelsea’s defence.

CAM: Rosa Kafaji – 6/10 – Sprightly from the youngster who made some crucial blocks and runs.

LW: Anna Sandberg – 5/10 – Failed to make much impact on the game. Subbed at half-time.

ST: Clarissa Larisey – 7/10 – Used the counter well and ran at at the Chelsea defence to put them under pressure. Was let down by a lack of chances created by her teammates.

Substitutes

SUB: Monica Jusu Bah (46′ for Sandberg ) – 6/10

SUB: Aisha Masaka (76′ for Larisey) – 6/10

SUB: Felicia Schroder (86′ for Anvegard) – 5/10

SUB: Ruby Grant (90+3′ for Kafaji) – N/A

Subs not used: Geurts (GK), Hoglund Jansson, Johansson, Csiki, Lowing, Wijk.

Manager

Mak Lind – 6/10 – Made smart calls in his XI and was able to counter Chelsea’s biggest threats with ease.

Player of the match: Jennifer Falk (BK Hacken)

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