The Chelsea Female team had a mountain to climb after losing 2-1 to Bayern Munich Women in the first leg last week, but a sensational performance at Kingsmeadow saw them win 4-1 in the second leg and 5-3 on aggregate. Fran Kirby had topped and tailed the performance with the opening and final goal, while Pernille Harder and So-yun Ji also found the net for Chelsea.
However. A proud and emotional Emma Hayes gave an impassioned post-match interview, where she described her personal pride and that for her players.
The Chelsea Women manager Hayes, told BT Sport: “I’ve worked my whole life for today. I’m so proud of those players, they delivered, they’re resilient and everyone did everything they can. In these situations, it’s so tense.
“I’m going to say this to every coach sitting at home – this is thousands of hours, thousands of travelling, thousands of set-backs, working with different teams, different moments.
“I’m so proud of myself. I got to this level through my hard work, my determination and I’m fortunate enough to be working for a football club that I adore, that have given me license to do this and I work with a set of players that were always in control, even when I didn’t feel like I was! But they did everything possible today.
“I just love winning, it doesn’t bore me and this is a tournament I like being in. I think it’s important for English football that we made it. English football is one of the best in the world and getting to the final shuts up Europe in terms of what we’re doing in this country and we’ve got to face another top team in Barcelona.”
Hayes later added: “I’ve wanted today so badly. It was the longest week in the world. I had to do everything to keep my emotions in check, keep training normal. I just wanted the game to come. I’m so happy it was an early kick-off.
“I’ve been in enough of these games now to know they’re never straightforward. Fair play to Bayern, I think they were a tremendous opponent. But the resilience in this group is just so unbelievable. I think there were two moments late on I was hanging on for dear life. Everybody executed what I asked them to do. We’re there, we’re in the final.
“I’ve learned over the years that, of course I want to win the final, but I am going to acknowledge the achievement of making history getting there because we put thousands of hours into what we do and I’m going to have a nice evening tonight.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I can’t describe it. I almost can’t let the tears go. How do you describe the pride you have for the club you represent, for the people you represent? I’m a very maternal figure in here and I’m so happy for everyone.”