Chelsea suffer shock Champions League group stage exit after Wolfsburg hammering

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  • Pernille Harder
    Danish footballer
  • Emma Hayes
    English footballer (born 1976)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chelsea crashed out of the Women’s Champions League group stage after they were hammered 4-0 by Wolfsburg on Thursday night.

Emma Hayes’ side reached the final of last year’s competition, where they were beaten by Barcelona, but the WSL holders’ hopes of going one better this season were dashed as they suffered a shock early exit.

The Blues were top of the table and unbeaten heading into the final group game and needed only a draw to be sure of advancing as group winners, but instead the margin of defeat saw them slip to third as they, Wolfsburg and Juventus all finished level on 11 points.

The result comes just days after a surprise 1-0 defeat to Reading in the league saw them lose ground to leaders Arsenal in the title race.

The Gunners will be England’s only representatives in the quarter-finals after Christmas, though they, too, only just scraped through after losing their final game 4-1 to another German side, Hoffenheim, on Wednesday.

Pernille Harder had an early chance for the Blues as she burst into penalty area and shot over but the English side, without Ann-Katrin Berger and Drew Spence after positive coronavirus tests, were soon on the back foot.

Wolfsburg played as if they had nothing to lose and captain Svenja Huth forced a save from Zecira Musovic before Lena Oberdorf shot narrowly wide. Felicitas Rauch also made Musovic save.

The opening goal came after 16 minutes. Musovic managed to parry a ball across the box by Shanice Van de Sanden but Tabea Huth snapped up the rebound.

The hosts doubled their lead seven minutes later as Wassmuth broke down the left and crossed for Huth to tuck in at the far post.

Chelsea tried to find a response and Sam Kerr hit the bar before Harder tested Almuth Schult.

Manager Emma Hayes made a change before the break and sent on Ji So-yun, who immediately forced another save from Schult.

Chelsea’s hopes of getting back into the game suffered a blow early in the second half when skipper Magdalena Eriksson was forced off injured.

The visitors did not give up and threw players forward in search of goals but they were caught out on the hour as Huth teed up Wassmuth for Wolfsburg’s third.

Aniek Nouwen hit the woodwork with a looping header for Chelsea but there was no way back and Wassmuth wrapped up the scoring with a ferocious strike after 78 minutes.

Additional reporting by PA.

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