Chelsea’s Controversial Draw Against Real Madrid in Women’s Champions League

Chelsea's Millie Bright appeals to referee Frida Klarlund after the last-minute goal was disallowed.

Chelsea’s manager Emma Hayes voiced her dissatisfaction with the refereeing decisions in their recent 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in the Women’s Champions League. Hayes felt that her team was unfairly denied a victory in a match that was otherwise filled with thrilling football.

Decisive Moments in the Match

Chelsea’s encounter with Real Madrid was marred by controversial calls, especially in the second half. Two pivotal moments stood out:

  • Questionable Penalty for Madrid: In the 78th minute, Madrid was awarded a penalty, which was a major turning point.
  • Disallowed Goal for Chelsea: Adding to the controversy, a last-minute goal by Chelsea was disallowed for offside.

Notably, there was no Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in place for this game, as reported by Reuters.

Hayes’ Reaction to the Outcome

Post-match, Hayes stated:

I think we’ve been robbed of what should have been a 3-1 game.

This comment underscored her belief that Chelsea should have emerged as the clear winners.

Match Progression and Highlights

The match saw various shifts in momentum:

  • Early Lead by Real Madrid: Madrid took an early lead in the 10th minute, thanks to a deflected shot from Olga Carmona.
  • Chelsea’s Equalizer: Chelsea levelled the score before halftime, with Niamh Charles scoring a well-placed header.
  • Chelsea Gains the Lead: Sam Kerr put Chelsea ahead after the break, following two previous attempts saved by Madrid’s goalkeeper, Misa Rodríguez.
Chelsea players and staff looked confused by the decisions in the second half.

Controversial Penalty Decision

The turning point came when Chelsea’s Jessie Fleming was penalized for fouling Athenea del Castillo, resulting in a penalty for Madrid. Replay footage suggested that the initial contact was outside the penalty box.

Despite the controversy, Carmona successfully converted the penalty, scoring her second goal and equalizing the match for Real Madrid.

Hayes on Refereeing

Hayes expressed her shock at the decisions made by the referees, especially considering the clear evidence from the bench that Fleming’s tackle was outside the box. She highlighted the challenge of facing crucial decisions going against them at a critical juncture in the game.

Chelsea’s Persistent Efforts

Despite the setbacks, Chelsea continued to push forward:

  • Near Miss by Lauren James: Substituting in the second half, James almost scored with a long-range shot hitting the crossbar.
  • Disallowed Winner: In the final moments, Chelsea thought they had secured the win with Charles’ goal, only to have it disallowed for offside.

Offside Confusion

The disallowed goal sparked confusion and frustration. Charles, who scored the goal, was onside, but Kerr, involved in the buildup, was in an offside position. The decision hinged on whether Kerr interfered with play, a point Hayes strongly contested.

CNN Sport reached out to UEFA for a comment on the match’s officiating but hasn’t received an immediate response.

The draw positions Chelsea and Madrid joint-second in Group D, behind Swedish club BK Häcken.

Real Madrid’s manager, Alberto Toril, expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance against a formidable opponent like Chelsea.

Toril praised Chelsea’s strengths and acknowledged that the result boosted his team’s confidence going into future matches.

Conclusion: A Match of Highs and Lows

The Chelsea vs Real Madrid clash in the Women’s Champions League will be remembered for its high-octane football and contentious refereeing decisions. While both teams showcased their skill and determination, the match’s outcome leaves a lingering debate over the fairness and accuracy of the officiating. Emma Hayes’ assertion of being ‘robbed’ of a win reflects the high stakes and intense emotions involved in top-tier football, where every decision can significantly impact the game’s trajectory and a team’s journey in the tournament.

Football Expert Sam Mollnet
reviewed by: Sam Mollnet (Footbal Expert)

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