Thursday, April 25, 2024

Sjoeke Nusken helps Chelsea put one foot in Champions League semi-finals

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Mar 2024

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Sjoeke Nusken scored her second brace in as many games as Chelsea beat Ajax 3-0 in the first leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final.

Emma Hayes’ side continued their search for European glory as they flexed their attacking pedigree at Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Lauren James was among the scorers again before summer signing Nusken was on hand twice to extend their advantage ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge later this month.

Chelsea took the lead after 19 minutes. James and Nusken, who had starred in the Blues’ 3-1 win over Arsenal in the Women’s Super League last week, combined again.

Nusken tried to thread a ball through and after it rebounded off two Ajax players, James rounded the keeper to score.

The Blues thought they had doubled the lead through Guro Reiten but were denied after a lengthy VAR check.

James showed off her technical ability to pick out Reiten in the box but her strike took a nick off the offside Nusken as Chelsea were left frustrated.

Reiten had impressed down the left flank all night and made another dangerous run before Chelsea doubled their lead.

The Norwegian winger marauded forward before she delivered an inch-perfect cross to the surging Nusken. The versatile German did not think twice before she finished first time, highlighting Chelsea’s ruthlessness in front of goal and strengthening their foothold in the tie.

The Blues had dominated up to this point. They came out in the second half playing at the same tempo and enjoyed long spells of possession before Nusken missed the chance to put them 3-0 up.

A pinged pass was made into the box and after Reiten did well to beat her marker in the air and knock it down, Nusken leant back too far before powering her strike well over the bar.

Catarina Macario’s impact was noticed straight away off the bench as she assisted the third.

The pacey wide player whipped a cross from the right into the path of Nusken who was alert in the box and she rose highest and powered a header home.

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