Chelsea stun Barcelona 1-0 to take advantage in UWCL semifinal


How Chelsea disrupted Barcelona's home dominance in UWCL semifinal win

Sophie Lawson reacts to Chelsea's 1-0 victory over Barcelona in the Women's Champions League semifinal first leg.

An Erin Cuthbert strike gave Chelsea a shock 1-0 win over reigning champions Barcelona in the Women's Champions League semifinal first leg at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday, as Emma Hayes' side target their first European title.

Barcelona, who last lost at home to Sporting Huelva in the league in February 2019, dominated early on but it was Chelsea who took the lead in the 40th minute as Sjoeke Nusken laid off the ball for Cuthbert who fired it into the top corner. 

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The Women's Super League champions received a lifeline after Barcelona had a penalty award for handball overturned in the second half after a VAR check showed a player offside in the build-up.

Barça had 66% possession but struggled in the final third against Chelsea's diligent defence.

Salma Paralluelo nearly equalised in the 85th minute and Alexia Putellas missed a golden opportunity in the dying moments of the game.

Erin Cuthbert's goal gives Chelsea the advantage in the tie.
David Ramos/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Hayes, who is departing to take charge of the United States women's national team after 13 major trophies in 11 seasons it west London, is only missing Champions League success.

With the second leg scheduled on Friday at Stamford Bridge, Hayes is relying on Chelsea's home support to help her team get across the line against the Spanish giants.

"We will only be as strong as the crowd that comes out," Hayes told DAZN.

"It's important we pack Stamford Bridge out to give half a chance against the best team in the world. We are at half-time and there is another level to Barcelona."

Having handed Barcelona their first defeat of the season, Hayes said Chelsea should not get carried away.

"It's a difficult place to come, they carried out the game plan I asked them to do so from that perspective I'm happy," Hayes added.

"A lot of teams come here and go 1-0 or 2-0 down early on and you have to ride that.

"They have unbelievable players that are world class in everything they do but for the most part we limited them."

Record eight-times champions Olympique Lyonnais host Paris St Germain in an all-French semi-final first leg later on Saturday.