Chelsea ease past Vllaznia to reach Women’s Champions League quarter-finals

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Chelsea eased into the quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League by strolling to a 4-0 victory away at Vllaznia.

Sophie Ingle and Fran Kirby put Emma Hayes’ side two up early in the first half, with the Albanians gamely hanging in to avoid a repeat of their 8-0 hammering in the reverse fixture.

But another double salvo from substitutes Katerina Svitkova and Maren Mjelde gave the scoreline a more fitting look, with Chelsea goalkeeper Zecira Musovic a bystander.

With 13 points from five games, unbeaten Chelsea can make plans for the knockouts ahead of next week’s showdown with Paris St Germain.

It took the visitors 12 minutes to convert a comfortable start into the opening goal, with captain for the night Ingle on target.

A fluid break down the left and a deflected cut-back from Guro Reiten saw the ball roll out to the penalty spot, where Ingle arrived to lash first time into the bottom corner.

Chelsea had found the net for 29th game in a row, but they were never likely to be content with one. A free-kick just outside the area allowed them to grab a second, with Jelena Cankovic in opportunistic mood.

As the home defence gathered in expectation of a direct effort on goal, she rolled a quick pass to Kirby. The England international had peeled into space on the right and was unchallenged as she hit a low shot past Kaylin Williams-Mosier.

Chelsea cruised to victory in Albania

(Getty Images)

A couple of headed chances passed Chelsea by as they continued putting the Vllaznia defence under pressure, but by now the three points already seemed safe.

Chelsea’s 2022 Champions League results:

  • PSG 0 Chelsea 1
  • Chelsea 8 Vllaznia 0
  • Chelsea 2 Real Madrid 0
  • Real Madrid 1 Chelsea 1
  • Vllaznia 0 Chelsea 4

The second half at times seemed like a personal battle for Sam Kerr to get her name on the scoresheet, with the Australian going close on a handful of occasions.

She should have done better with a far-post header, saw one goalbound effort well blocked by Lucie Gjini and then had a close-range finish ruled out for offside.

While her endeavours came to nothing, there were two more goals late in the game.

The impressive Cankovic whipped in a brilliant cross for substitute Svitkova, who flicked home the header, before a handball in stoppage time allowed them to finish with a flourish.

Mjelde stepped up to convert, sending the London club through the next stage at a canter.

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