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Chelsea Ladies booked their passage into the last 16 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League after a 3-0 victory against Glasgow City FC at Excelsior Stadium on Wednesday evening. Leading 1-0 from the first leg, goals from Eniola Aluko, Fran Kirby and Gilly Flaherty ensured Emma Hayes side were victorious 4-0 on aggregate.
In a game which Glasgow knew they must score if they were to keep alive their hopes of qualification, it was the visitors who were first to settle into their stride and Katie Chapman was first to test Lee Alexander when she raced onto a lovely reverse ball from Kirby, but her show was saved by the Glasgow shot-stopper.
With Glasgow being limited to half chances, Rachel Corsie saw her effort from a knocked down free-kick sail harmlessly over the Chelsea crossbar. Moments later, Chelsea saw their dominance rewarded when Aluko opened the scoring for her side after she cut across the edge of the box and shot into the top corner.
After taking the lead, Chelsea had two quick opportunities to extend their advantage, but neither Gemma Davison nor Millie Bright could find the target from outside the penalty area.
As half-time approached, City goalkeeper Alexander was forced to race of her line to deny Aluko after she latched onto the rebound from a Ji So Yun shot. England international, Kirby was next to try her luck and her free-kick from the edge of the box was not gathered by the keeper, however, the on rushing Niamh Fahey was adjudged offside.
When the side re-emerged from the dressing rooms, Scott Booth’s Glasgow knew they must score three times to advance and first-half substitute Clare Shine forced a brilliant stop from Hedvig Lindahl after she struck a first time shot from a Hayley Lauder cross.
Less than sixty seconds after Shine almost brought the sides level, Chelsea doubled their advantage when Kirby - who was dubbed “Mini Messi” by England Manager Mark Sampson struck low from the left edge of the box with the flight of the ball appearing to deceive Alexander.
Four minutes later, Chelsea added a third goal when Gilly Flaherty headed home after Glasgow failed to clear a corner, the second delivery picked out the centre-back nicely and she made no mistake from close range.
With the tie now beyond Glasgow, Chelsea continued to pile on the pressure and professional outfit came close on several occasions, first Kirby fired over a rebound from an Aluko shot before Aluko would glide past several defenders, but her effort sailed past the far post.
As Glasgow continued to look for a consolation goal, Cork native Shine would again go close, this time her headed effort sailed over Lindahl’s crossbar. Soon after, the sides would exchange efforts first Aluko’s tame effort was easily stopped by Alexander before Grant should have pulled a goal back for City after Lindahl failed to gather a low cross, the ball fell to Grant but she failed to direct it towards an empty net.
Glasgow City FC: Lee Alexander, Nicola Docherty, Rachel Corsie, Cheryl McCulloch, Leanne Ross, Joanne Love, Erin Cuthbert (Clare Shine 34), Kerry Montgomery (Susan Fairlie HT), Hayley Lauder, Abbi Grant (Lauren McMurchie 77), Denise O’Sullivan
Subs Not Used: Megan Cunningham, Rhonda Jones, Kodie Hay, Carla Boyce
Booked: Lauder (28), Docherty (39)
Chelsea Ladies FC: Hedvig Lindahl, Hannah Blundell, Gilly Flaherty, Niamh Fahey, Ana Borges, Katie Chapman (Laura Coombs 68), Millie Bright, Gemma Davison, Ji So Yun, Eniola Aluko (Roselle Ayane 75), Fran Kirby (Drew Spence 68)
Subs Not Used: Marie Hourihan, Claire Rafferty, Jodie Brett, Anne Meiwald(Roselle Ayane 75)
Booked: Chapman (19), Blundell (56)
Match Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Extratime Player of the Match: Eniola Aluko (Chelsea Ladies)