After 3 stable years competing on the most sensible of the FAWSL, Chelsea Girls loved every other ancient yr in 2017. We glance again at what the ultimate 12 months has introduced for the Blues, and stay up for what is going to indubitably be a fruitful 2018…
2017 began with a bang when Chelsea introduced the signing of American famous person Crystal Dunn. League MVP and most sensible goalscorer within the NWSL in 2015, Dunn adopted an already spectacular recruitment duration for the Blues. On the again finish of 2017 Chelsea had introduced in internationals Maren Mjelde, Ramona Bachmann, and Erin Cuthbert.
The brand new gamers weren’t the one items of important contract information; membership favourites Hannah Blundell and Millie Shiny had been tied right down to two- and three-year extensions respectively.
The Blues confronted every other tricky preseason time table, which together with 3 groups that had been nonetheless lively within the Champions League, however they got here away unbeaten, with 4 wins and a draw. This integrated a 2-2 draw with a star-studded Rosengard squad. That fit used to be the enthusiasts’ first likelihood to catch a glimpse of Deanna Cooper, who signed a certified contract after an outstanding trial duration. The defender went directly to be one of the most stalwarts of the workforce throughout the Spring Sequence.
The primary workforce weren’t the one title-winning squad in 2017, and February noticed the Construction Squad pick out up an enormous 3 issues in a memorable come upon away at Arsenal – Five-Three the overall rating in favour of the Blues.
Lots of the squad went away to world friendlies tournaments firstly of the month; the spotlight being Bachmann’s Switzerland assembly Ji So-yun’s South Korea within the Cyprus Cup last (the Swiss in the long run got here out on most sensible). Millie Shiny additionally inspired for England of their SheBelieves Cup suits, and helped the Lionesses to a ancient victory over the States.
The squad met again up and cruised to the FA Cup semi-final because of house wins over Doncaster Rovers Belles then Sunderland.
April began bitterly, with a penalty shootout defeat to Birmingham Town within the FA Cup semi-final, regardless of Drew Spence’s dramatic past due objective which despatched the tie to additional time.
On the other hand the Blues used the heartache for just right, thrashing Yeovil The town 6-Zero to start out the Spring Sequence marketing campaign the following weekend.
With each Hedvig Lindahl and Becky Spencer wearing long-term accidents, the Blues recalled former captain Carly Telford, who used to be club-less after the liquidation of the Notts County. The England keeper saved a blank sheet on her debut – a Four-Zero win at Studying.
Spence, who used to be within the type of her lifestyles, scored what gave the impression of the winner within the 90th minute of the league fit towards Arsenal, however celebrations had been lower quick when the Gunners equalised 5 mins into the 4 added on the finish of 90 mins.
This didn’t hose down the spirits of the Blues on the other hand, who bounced again with a 7-Zero victory at Sunderland, Scottish youngster Cuthbert bagging a double within the fit closest to a house tie for her.
Every other shut defeat up in Manchester gave Town the benefit within the league desk, however happily Arsenal performed celebration poopers as soon as once more, beating Town on their very own turf. At the identical day Chelsea pulled off one in every of their greatest performances to thrash Liverpool 7-Zero, leaving the Blues within the riding seat because of their drastically awesome objective distinction.
The fit towards Liverpool additionally marked the overall one at Wheatsheaf Park; the bottom will likely be remembered fondly because the sight the place Chelsea gained their maiden league name.
A midweek victory away at Bristol Town set the degree for a dramatic last fit, the place a win at Birmingham would ascertain the Spring Sequence name as Chelsea’s.
Might also noticed the Construction Squad seal the deal on their second-ever Construction League name, in the long run recording 16 wins from their 18 suits – a exceptional feat.
Birmingham Town proved a tricky take a look at however Chelsea had been obviously the awesome aspect, popping out 2-Zero winners. Karen Carney’s ice-cool penalty opened the scoring within the first part, prior to Fran Kirby made positive the trophy used to be heading again to London (and secured the Golden Boot for herself additionally).
Despite the fact that the Spring Sequence used to be a ‘filler event’ to bridge the distance while the WSL moved to a iciness season, the Blues used it to truly show off the standard they’d introduced in.
Inevitably the top of the season noticed a few departures, as 3 participants of the double-winning squad of 2015 – Ana Borges, Jodie Brett, and Niamh Fahey – all moved directly to pastures new.
Chelsea additionally showed the signing of Swedish world defender Magdalena Eriksson.
8 Blues travelled to the Netherlands for the Eu Championships in July and August, and effects had been combined. There have been disappointing showings from Sweden, and Mjelde’s Norway, while Switzerland exited on the crew degree however Bachmann picked up two Participant of the Fit awards for her efforts.
Cuthbert used to be the scorer of Scotland’s first ever objective at a world event, however one win from 3 used to be no longer sufficient for the Scots to development.
Shiny used to be a key a part of England’s squad which beat France to succeed in the semi-final, however the hosts proved too robust within the semi, they usually ultimately went directly to win the event. Former Blue Jackie Groenen used to be no doubt one of the most gamers of the event.
A preseason excursion to Austria noticed Chelsea lose to each Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich, however Emma Hayes and her squad remained certain in regards to the enjoy.
There used to be a moment new addition forward of the brand new season, as Norwegian defender Maria Thorisdottir joined the Blues.
The season began completely, with a 6-Zero win over Bristol Town, Spence proceeding her fantastic shape in 2017 with the primary Kingsmeadow objective. Six days later the squad travelled to Sunderland, once more popping out 6-Zero victors.
Controversially unseeded within the Champions League Spherical of 32, Chelsea were given one of the most hardest attracts they might, towards Bayern Munich. On the other hand a dramatic 1-Zero victory at house, because of every other Spence objective, despatched the Blues on their manner. Kirby’s good particular person effort put the Blues smartly within the riding seat within the away leg, however two past due Bayern targets made for a frantic ultimate ten mins. Chelsea held on on the other hand and advanced because of the away objective rule, regardless of defeat at the night time.
The Bayern suits sandwiched a league tie towards Liverpool, the place a Mjelde strike used to be sufficient for the 3 issues in a 1-Zero victory.
November noticed the beginning of the Continental Cup, with the Blues successful Three-Zero and 2-1 vs Brighton and Hove Albion and Bristol Town respectively.
In addition they confronted 10-time Swedish champions Rosengard within the Champions League, however handed that take a look at with flying colors; a Three-Zero house win used to be adopted up by way of a certified 1-Zero lead to Malmo.
The one league fit of the month used to be rather disappointing, because the Blues surrendered the lead very past due on with an personal objective – 2-2 the overall rating.
Extra at ease victories, this time towards Yeovil and Tottenham Hotspur, secured development to the Continental Cup quarter-final. A Five-1 victory over Liverpool rounded off the a success yr with every other piece of historical past – Chelsea’s first ever Conti Cup knockout degree win.
The fit towards Spurs used to be additionally important for one more reason; it used to be the testimonial for left-back Claire Rafferty, who used to be celebrating a exceptional 10th season on the membership.
2017 used to be ancient, however there’s alternative to make 2018 even higher. The Blues face tricky suits in each the Champions League and Continental Cup, towards Montpellier and Manchester Town respectively, in addition to sitting moment within the league with 13 suits nonetheless left to play. The FA Cup additionally will get underway in January, and the Blues will likely be determined to go back to Wembley once more.
Jonna Andersson and Anita Asante had been unveiled as new gamers for the brand new yr, strengthening what’s already a exceptional squad.
Following the Chelsea Girls in 2018 must be a laugh!