EMMA HAYES believes Chelsea will bounce back from their disappointing loss after Bayern Munich drew first blood in their Champions League semi-final.
A fierce Hanna Glas strike saw the Blues beaten 2-1 in an entertaining first-leg – although the visitors nabbed a precious away goal.
And the result – which is the first loss Chelsea have endured in Europe this term – ended the Blues’ run of 13 games undefeated across all competitions.
Hayes said: “The goals were two really poor ones to concede.
"One was a cross we prepped for and the other for me was massively disappointing considering it's come from a throw-in.
“But it's half-time, we've got an away goal. Bayern have played their last few games conceding goals and they've changed their shape.
“When teams do that it presents different challenges.
“The game could very easily have gone 3-1 and been a much bigger task for us so we're not out of it.
“I will take the pluses and take time to reflect.”
Chelsea took to the field without injured skipper Magda Eriksson, who has played a key role in leading the Blues' defensive efforts this season.
When quizzed on the length of Eriksson's absence Hayes added: “You’re going to ask me the question and then spend all week saying ‘am I f***ing about with you all?’.
“The realities are, she’s had a calf injury that we hoped would be ready, and often you go out on the training pitch, it might be alright in one moment, the next day it wasn’t.
“We were hopeful she was going to make this one, it just wasn’t enough. She needed a couple more days.
“But if I say that to you, everybody’s going to say ‘she’s kidding us again’ going into next week, so the reality is, I don’t know, I just hope she’s available.”
After a tense opening ten minutes, the hosts took the lead in Munich following a rare error from Ann-Katrin Berger.
The German keeper appeared to misjudge the flight of a dangerous cross from Glas.
And Sydney Lohmann was able to capitalise to head her team in front in the 11th minute.
But Chelsea refused to be fazed and hit back moments after the 20th-minute with a bizarre goal netted by Melanie Leupolz.
The former Bayern skipper unwittingly scored after Simone Laudehr headed the ball into her face following a Guro Reiten free-kick.
Chelsea gained some momentum from their equaliser.
And they had a chance to go ahead minutes before the half-hour mark, with Guro Reiten feeding Harder, who curled a right-footed effort just wide of Laura Benkarth’s top corner.
Blues frontwoman Sam Kerr then saw her effort in the box thwarted by a brilliantly timed 31st-minute tackle by Marina Hegering.
The second half saw the hosts up the ante with Dutch forward Lineth Beerensteyn making a 40-yard dash before Berger swiped the ball from her foot.
But the hosts retook the lead with Glas unleashing a left-footed boomer from 20 yards.
Chelsea, who brought on Beth England, had a superb opportunity to level again in the game’s late stages
Ji So-yun saw her thunderous strike hit the underside of the bar with Beth England unable to head in the rebound in the 74th minute.
And the South Korea playmaker saw her injury-time free-kick saved by Benkarth with the German league leaders wrapping up the win.
Bayern head Jens Scheuer praised the effort of Glas who proved to be a thorn in Chelsea’s side.
Scheuer said: “For me, she is one of the best right-backs in the world. She has already assisted with a lot of goals.
“That's what we want to see from her, expect from her.”
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