Emma Hayes spoke at a news conference ahead of this game.
The Champions League is the goal every year. What’s different is that we’re now in a position to qualify. Our objectives are always to win every trophy we compete for. But we need to focus on our experience and what we’ve done in the competition. We weren’t this time last year.
Our objectives are always to win every trophy we compete for and this year is no different. We had a tough draw, this is a really tough group, so for us just to win is the aim and put ourselves in the best position possible.
We saw the way Real Madrid knocked (Manchester) City out in the earlier rounds. They’re a team that prove much different to English teams, with Spanish teams there’s a lot of differences. I think as a team the patience in possession and ability to threaten, especially in wide spaces, I know is part of their (Real Madrid’s) strength but for us we need to focus on our experience, what we’ve done in European competition.
That is a massive pitch out there and in order to get a result we need to keep the ball very well because they do, so we absolutely have to on Thursday.
Chelsea can follow in the footsteps of Arsenal last night in the Champions League.
The Women’s Super League and Netherlands record goalscorer’s contribution ensured Arsenal remained top of Group C, three points ahead of Lyon, who beat FC Zürich 4-0, and five points clear of Juventus.
Here’s how they went last time out:
The first goal was swiftly followed by the second and it was also Cuthbert’s second screamer in two games. Her cross-cum-shot flew into the net from the right to give her team a two-goal cushion.
“That’s a secret,” Cuthbert said of whether she meant it. “I meant to fire it across the goal and see what happens. It was lucky it came off my boot quite nicely and went over the keeper’s head and in.”
For Chelsea, Jess Carter makes her 100th appearance for Chelsea amid four changes. Lauren James also comes in as do Erin Cuthbert and Kadeisha Buchanan. Fran Kirby, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Niamh Charles and Eve Perisset are benched for this one. Emma Hayes has rung the changes after that 8-0 win.
Here are the teams
Real Madrid: Misa, Andres, Kathellen, Galvez, Carmona, Weir, Toletti, Zornoza, del Castillo, Feller, Gonzalez. Subs: Robles, Abelleira, Oroz, Garcia, Gerard, Florentino, Moller, Rodriguez, Svava, Olofsson, Fuente, Camacho.
Chelsea: Berger, Carter, Kadeisha Buchanan, Bright, Eriksson, Cuthbert, Ingle, Fleming, James, Kerr, Reiten. Subs: Musovic, Nouwen, England, Svitkova, Kirby, Perisset, Mjelde, Johanna Kaneryd, Charles, Abdullina, Cankovic, Orman.
Chelsea have won three from three of their group games but now for a trip to Spain, and Real Madrid, currently second in Liga F. It’s a return leg of a match Chelsea won 2-0 at Kingsmeadow, after goals from Sophie Ingle and Erin Cuthbert, both of them coming late on. Win this one and a place in the knockouts is all but booked for Emma Hayes’ team. They are beating all-comers at the moment, and won 8-0 at Leicester at the weekend. It looks a tall order for Real Madrid to stop the runaway train Chelsea have been this season, even when Hayes was absent. Just today, she shared her manager of the month award with assistant Denise Reddy, who took the reins in her absence.
Kick-off is at 8pm UK time. Join me.