Chelsea hammer Fiorentina to reach Women’s Champions League last eight

• Fran Kirby scores hat-trick in 6-0 triumph in Florence
• Chelsea hit woodwork three times in 7-0 aggregate rout

Chelsea stormed into the quarter‑finals of the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday night after a 6-0 win at Fiorentina, with Fran Kirby scoring a hat-trick for the away side to secure a 7-0 aggregate victory.

Fiorentina, and in particular their Swedish goalkeeper Stephanie Öhrström, had restricted Emma Hayes’s side to a 1-0 win at home two weeks ago but any fears that the Italian side would cause an upset in the return leg at the Stadio Artemio Franchi were blown away in a dominant display.

The London side, in fact, could have won by more as they hit the woodwork three times in the first half an hour. In the end it did not matter. Chelsea can now continue their quest to bring the trophy to England. Chelsea are the only remaining Women’s Super League side in the competition – despite their patchy domestic form – after Manchester City were defeated by Atlético Madrid in the round of 32. Hayes and her players will look forward to the quarter-final draw on 9 November with excitement.

There are formidable obstacles still in Chelsea’s path if they want to go all the way – Lyon and Wolfsburg chief among them – but it was a hugely encouraging win for the London club. Kirby’s three goals arrived within 25 minutes on either side of half-time and put the tie out of reach for the Italians. Drew Spence had given Chelsea the lead in the 24th minute while Erin Cuthbert and Ramona Bachmann added the fifth and sixth goals in the second half.

Fran Kirby fires in Chelsea’s second goal.
Fran Kirby fires in Chelsea’s second goal, the first of her hat-trick. Photograph: Chelsea FC via Getty Images

The Chelsea defender Millie Bright was sent off with 16 minutes remaining but so dominant were the away side that they still kept a clean sheet, Fiorentina having been sapped of all energy and hope.

Apart from Lyon and Wolfsburg – finalists last season – Chelsea will be joined in the last eight by Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and LSK.

Barcelona (against Glasgow City) and Slavia Prague (against Rosengård) are expected to complete the lineup on Thursday night having won their first-leg games two weeks ago.

Chelsea, who secured the Women’s Super League title last season, will now attempt to maintain the momentum picked up in Florence as they face West Ham United away on Sunday in the league. Chelsea have drawn four of their opening seven games and are 10 points behind Arsenal, having played a game more than the leaders.


Marcus Christenson

The GuardianTramp

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