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Cuthbert stunner keeps Chelsea in touch with Lyon in Champions League

By AFP
media Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert (C) scored a stunning goal to keep Chelsea in their Women's Champions League with Lyon AFP

Erin Cuthbert kept Chelsea's hopes of a first-ever Champions League final alive with a superb second half volley on Sunday as Lyon narrowly beat the Blues 2-1 in the first leg of their semi-final.

Cuthbert rocketed home a long-distance volley 18 minutes from the end in a stirring second-half display that will give Emma Hayes' side hope of seeing off the French side in England next weekend.

Lyon, who are five-times winner of the competition and in the hunt for their fourth straight title, looked set to cruise through at half-time thanks to Magdalena Ericsson's own goal and a glancing finish from Amandine Henry.

Chelsea squeezed past Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 thanks to a last gasp winner from Maren Mjelde in the previous round, and will be more confident of knocking out the dominant force in women's football after taking the game to Lyon in the second period.

However they could rue Fran Kirkby missing a soft-looking penalty on the stroke of half-time, and giving away two sloppy goals in the first half that could yet see them knocked out.

Lyon were gifted their opener in the 27th minute when Blues centre-back Ericsson turned Delphine Cascarino's cross past her own goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger.

Chelsea were sloppy again for Lyon's second, giving away an unnecessary corner and then watching the ball sail past everyone via the slightest of touches from Henry.

The London side dusted themselves off after the break and got their deserved goal thanks to Cuthbert, who perfectly met Bethany England's knock with a left-footed strike that crashed past Sarah Bouhaddi in the Lyon goal.

The winner of the tie will take on either Bayern Munich or Barcelona, who face off in the other semi-final later on Sunday.

 
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