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James dazzles as Chelsea put one foot in UWCL semi-finals

Chelsea have one foot in the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals after beating Ajax 3-0 in what was eventually a comfortable victory in the first…

Chelsea have one foot in the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals after beating Ajax 3-0 in what was eventually a comfortable victory in the first leg of their quarter-final on Tuesday.

The Dutch side started well but sloppiness at the back allowed Lauren James to put the Blues ahead with less than 20 minutes on the clock and the champions of England were never going to let their lead slip from there.

Chasity Grant gave Chelsea an early scare when she struck the post but as bright as Ajax looked going forward, they were anything but at the back for the goal that broke the deadlock.

As James pounced on a ball that had ricocheted off a defender, the home side completely stopped and allowed the England star to find the back of the net.

A lengthy VAR check confirmed that she was indeed onside and the Blues had their lead.

Ajax seemed somewhat disheartened by the goal and their level dropped off, allowing Chelsea to take control. Almost immediately after Guro Reiten had a goal controversially ruled out by VAR, Kadeisha Buchanan’s cheeky Cruyff turn, at the Johan Cruyff Arena off all places, created the space for her to find Reiten, who in turn set up Sjoeke Nusken to double the Blues’ advantage.

Nusken eventually killed the tie off when she converted Catarina Macario’s brilliant cross late on.

Emma Hayes’ side are in full control ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge next week.

 

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