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Ajax v Chelsea LIVE: Women’s Champions League result and reaction as Nusken scores twice in big away win

Chelsea travel to Amsterdam for their quarter-final first leg against underdogs Ajax

Karl Matchett
Tuesday 19 March 2024 20:44 GMT
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Chelsea Women's boss Emma Hayes and Erin Cuthbert preview UCL quarter final first leg vs Ajax

The climax of Emma Hayes’ dynasty is fast approaching and there is only one form that they will want that climax to take.

Much still needs to be done before Chelsea can ensure her final game is the Champions League final, but the manner of their quarter-final first leg victory over Ajax showed that they would be fitting finalists.It wasn’t pretty; it definitely wasn’t easy.

That, however, is the crucial part. Chelsea were tested, they struggled to find their best rhythm, but they were patient and it paid dividends. Follow all the reaction below. Get the latest match odds here.

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FT - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

The climax of Emma Hayes’ dynasty is fast approaching and there is only one form that they will want that climax to take. Much still needs to be done before Chelsea can ensure her final game is the Champions League final, but the manner of their quarter-final first leg victory over Ajax showed that they would be fitting finalists.

It wasn’t pretty; it definitely wasn’t easy. That, however, is the crucial part. Chelsea were tested, they struggled to find their best rhythm, but they were patient and it paid dividends.

It was Ajax who had the better of the starts on Tuesday, spurred on by a record crowd for a women’s game in the Netherlands, their vocal home support, and the knowledge that they had a point to prove.

That point is that Ajax are in the ascendency and on their way to becoming the footballing talent-factory that has long made this club famous in the men’s game. The fact that their brightest talent came in the form of Lily Yohannes, a 16-year-old, was a sign that it is beginning to ring true for the women’s team too.

REPORT:

Chelsea pass Ajax test to keep Hayes on course for UWCL final send-off

Ajax 0-3 Chelsea: Emma Hayes’ side get the hard work done in the first leg ahead of the Stamford Bridge return

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 20:40
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FT - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

More than one foot there, we’d argue. One foot and three or four toes perhaps. A Chelsea goal in the second leg and there’s no chance they concede four - in the last three years or so they’ve conceded four in a game to Wolfsburg, Barcelona and Arsenal. Doesn’t seem likely this Ajax side will be added to the list.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:57
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FT - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

Possession 46-54

Attempts 9-12

On target 2-6

Pretty much Chelsea’s game throughout, after a very early shot against the woodwork from the hosts. That could have made matters very different.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:47
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FT - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

And that’s the whistle - three goals and a brilliant first-leg lead for Chelsea. The second leg at Stamford Bridge should be largely a formality and a chance to fine-tune players’ fitness before a semi-final against either Brann or Barcelona.

Lauren James scored the first and thought she’d assisted the second - only for a VAR check to rule out Reiten’s strike. Reiten then set up Nusken only a moment later to score from close range anyway, with Nusken adding a third near the end following Macario’s great cross.

A fine night’s work: Ajax 0-3 Chelsea.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:42
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90’ - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

Into stoppage time we go and we’ll have three minutes. Ajax having a bit of possession at the back now but going nowhere - they just don’t want any heavier a home defeat now.

Ultimately they’ve been lacking in the final third and unable to feed Leuchter much at all.

Time to watch on for Chelsea and Hayes, and see who impresses in tonight’s other quarter-final and those being played tomorrow.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:40
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86’ - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

Cankovic on for Cuthbert in the aftermath of that goal. Noordman on for Van Gool too. And two more Chelsea subs, Ingle for Leupolz and Beever-Jones for Charles.

A few minutes run-out for each, with this match certainly settled and the quarter-final itself almost guaranteed to be done too.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:36
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GOAL! 82’ - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

Really well worked move, great delivery and perfect header - it’s 3-0 to Chelsea and that’s the tie done, surely.

Macario found space down the right and whipped over a brilliant cross; Nusken rises highest in the six-yard box and bullets a header past the keeper, who doesn’t even move.

That’s the third they wanted and that will surely be too much for the Dutch club.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:33
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78’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

Inside the final quarter of an hour now. Ajax haven’t been a threat at all in the last 20 minutes or so - they need to find a way to hold the ball up in the final third or at least turn Chelsea’s defence around. It has been extremely comfortable for Carter and co for much of this half.

Here’s that second Chelsea goal from the end of the first half - it could prove vital.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:28
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74’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

Macario immediately involved in the box and twice sees the ball come her way, but the first is a cross which is just too high and the second sees her surrounded and having to check back and tee up a teammate - but the Ajax defenders get back and crowd out Erin Cuthbert.

Emma Hayes no doubt keen to wrap matters up here in this first leg.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:24
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70’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

Should be 3-0. Reiten has another great chance just a few yards out after a cross from the left, but blazes over. That could have been the tie all but wrapped up.

Hoekstra is replaced by Keukelaar for Ajax’s second change.

Double sub for Chelsea: James off, Macario on; Kaneryd replaced by Lawrence.

Karl Matchett19 March 2024 19:23

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