Chelsea earned a hard fought 1-0 win over Lyon in the first leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final at the Groupama Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Blues will now take that narrow aggregate lead into next week’s second leg at Kingsmeadow, making them slight favourites to reach the last four of the competition.
The ever-impressive Guro Reiten scored the only goal of the game in the first half, curling a delicious first-time shot past Christiane Endler with her weaker right foot after being played in by the returning Erin Cuthbert.
Lauren James almost scored a stunning second for Chelsea before the interval, running with the ball down the right and unleashing a speculative strike with her left foot that crashed into the far post and bounced clear.
Sam Kerr didn’t see very much of the ball over the course of the 90 minutes but might have thought she could have done better with a good chance early in the second that she missed the target with.
Lyon saw more of the ball and had more shots in total. But, frustratingly for the home crowd, the eight-time winners and reigning champions lacked the cutting edge quality to breakdown a resilient Chelsea back-line that included Kadeisha Buchanan against her former club.
Delphine Cascarino did hit the post early in the second half and there was a late surge of pressure in the final stages, but the leveller never came.
The only blot on an otherwise top night for Chelsea was losing Millie Bright to injury in the first half.
GK: Endler (6); RB: Carpenter (7), CB: Gilles (7), CB: Renard (7), LB: Morroni (6); CM: Horan (6), CM: Egurrola (6), CM: Marozsan (6); RW: Cascarino (7), ST: Le Sommer (5), LW: Dabritz (6)
Subs: Bechel (6), Van de Donk (7), Bacha, (6), Malard (6), Majri (7)
GK: Berger (7); RB: Perisset (7), CB: Buchanan (8), CB: Bright (7), LB: Carter (7); CM: Leupolz (7), CM: Ingle (7); RM: James (8), AM: Cuthbert (8), LM: Reiten (8), ST: Kerr (6)
Subs: Eriksson (6), Charles (6), Rytting Kaneryd (N/A), Mjelde (N/A)