46 min: No personnel changes during the break. Atletico get the second half going. Have they figured out a way to penetrate? Or will then 10 players hold on for a draw, or even nick a win despite their disadvantage?
Half-time: Chelsea 0-0 Atletico
Chelsea will be content with that scoreline, considering they looked set to fall behind when Ingle was sent off in the 12th minute. But Burger saved Castellanos’s penalty and, after a reshuffle, Chelsea have looked solid despite their numerical deficiency. They even look the more dangerous side on the break. An away goal would be precious to Ateltico but they haven’t done enough to earn one.
45 min: Andersson clips the freekick into the six-yard box. Lindahl jumps above a crowd of bodies and pushes it away.
44 min: Castellanos, who missed the penalty, is now booked for pulling down Ji wide on the left. Chelsea have a freekick in a dangerous position….
41 min: Atletico are showing a real lack of ideas. You can almost see them scratching their heads when faced with Chelsea’s diligent defence. They weren’t expecting to have so much of the ball and they don’t quite know what to do with it.
38 min: Bright causes trouble in the opposing box after going up for what turned out to be a cleverly taken freekick. But the Ateltico defence scramble and eventually stop Bright from getting off a clear shot.
36 min: Hayes can be reasonably satisfied with how things have gone since her side were reduced to 10 players. They have kept Atletico at bay fairly comfortably since then, especially since the introduction of Charles and the reshuffle. Atletico, who’ve also had to adjust their pre-game strategy to try to make the most of the situation, are finding it hard to play through them.
32 min: That’s better from Chelsea. Ji scraps for possession in the centre circle and then plays a lovely exchange with Harder and slips a fetching pass through to Kerr. But it’s agonisingly too long, as the ball runs out of play before Kerr can reach it.
28 min: Chelsea have shifted into something clsoe to survival mode. They’re having to chase the ball a heck of a lot and when they eventually get it, they are not especially enterprising with it. With the exception of Harder, who is playing with barnstorming directness whenever she gets into the action. But that’s not often. Other than that, long crossfield balls from Bright are about all Chelsea have been able to offer in attack since the red card.
25 min: Toukana storms forward and feeds Castellanos, who skips past two at the edge of the box before unleashing a shot that’s deflected wide for a corner. Kerr clears the setpiece. But the pressure on Chelsea is growing.
23 min: Brights sends another long diagonal pass into the left-hand channel. This time it’s Kerr who collects it, and she scampers into the area. But Tounkara strides over to stop her progress.
20 min: Chelsea substitution: Charles replaces England as Chelsea try to adapt to the red card. The new arrival slots in at right-back.
19 min: Duggan’s cross from the left is headed out to the edge of the area, where Castellanos arrives to tonk it way over the bar.
17 min: Chelsea got off the hook with Burger’s penalty save but the dismissal of Ingle certainly seems to have changed the complexion of the game, with Atletico suddenly more assertive, keen to make the most of their numerical advantage.
14 min: Berger goes the right way and parries a weak low spotkick by Castellanos!
PENALTY AND RED CARD!
Ingle is sent straight off for tripping Ajibade after being caught out by a long ball. What a setback for Chelsea!
10 min: Kirby floats a dainty ball into the mixer. When a defender heads it downward, Harder pounces, shooting on the turn from 12 yards. Lindahl reacts smartly to tip it over the bar.
7 min: Chelsea are starting to enjoy plenty of possession but Atletico are quick to counter-attack when they win it. Ludila has just offered a good example of that, dashing down the and sending in a dangerous cross that Chelsea eventually cleared.
4 min: Brights sprays a long diagonal pass from inside her own half to Ji, who takes it down on the left-hand side of the box visitors’ box. She has plenty of time and space and elect to shoot low and hard for the far corner …. but she’s got her geometry wrong, as the ball whizzes wide of the post.
3 min: It’s been a high-tempo start, with both sides keen to play their way forward when they get the ball, and to win it back soon after losing it.
1 min: Off we go. Chelsea do the honours – and get off a shot within 10 seconds, Harder lashing one just wide from 12 yards after pouncing on bouncing ball in the box following a long ball into the area.
Chelsea make their way on the grass, looking very relaxed. Atletico trot along behind them and they don’t exactly appear to be racked by nerves either.
Emma Hayes speaks
“It’s fair to say this is the tie of the round. It was the time I was hoping to play because I want us to be tested and see how much we’ve built on the work that has been done over the years … I hope we get off to a good start today against a very good Atletico team.”
Chelsea: Burger; Mjelde, Bright, Ingle, Anderson; Harder, Leupolz. Ji; Kirby, England, Kerr
Subs: Musovic, Orman, Blundell, Carter, Reiten, Fleming, Charles, Cuthbert, Spence, Fox
Atletico: Lindahl; Alexandri, Tounkara, Van Dongen, Strom; Silvia Meseguer, Santos, Duggan; Ludmilla, Castellanos
Subs: Peyraud-Magnin, Kazadi, Knaak, Sampedro, Laurent, Bernabe, Garcia, Nkout, De la Cruz
Referee: T Olofsson (Swe)
Hello and welcome to the first leg of the 16 tie that Emma Hayes said she had been hoping for. The Chelsea manager claims Atletico Madrid are precisely the opponents she would have chosen to face if the decision had been hers, because because she’s keen to see how her team do against José Luis Sánchez Vera’s side. Atletico will hardly be daunted by facing English opposition – they’ve knocked Man City out of this competition twice in the last two years, after all – but Chelsea, as English champions and league leaders, are formidable adversaries, especially with Fran Kirby and Millie Bright fit again.
It will be interesting to see what sort of shape Atletico are in, as they haven’t played for three weeks owing to the international break. Chelsea will be hoping to rack up a lead to take into next week’s second leg, which will be played in Italy, and that, of course, will mean firing at least one goal past none other than Hedvig Lindahl, the goalkeeper who was once a major contributor to Chelsea’s success. Kickoff is at 7pm Kingsmeadow time.