Choke Of The Year: Chelsea Crashes Out Of Women’s Champions League After Shocking 4-0 Defeat

The reigning runners-up are out of the Women’s Champions League in the group stage. Needing just a draw to qualify for the UWCL quarterfinals, the Chelsea Women suffered a shocking 4-0 defeat to Wolfsburg on Thursday, which made up enough goal difference to go through along with Juventus after creating a three-way tie atop Group A.

On Wednesday, Arsenal nearly suffered a remontada the likes of which we hadn’t seen since Barcelona’s 6-1 against PSG in 2017. The Gunners needed only to avoid losing by four goals against Hoffenheim and held on just barely with a 4-1 defeat. Chelsea wasn’t so lucky against its German foe on Thursday.

The defending FA WSL champs went into the final day leading Juventus and Wolfsburg by three points each atop Group A, knowing a draw — or even a 1-0 loss — would get them through the group stage. But Svenja Huth scored twice in the opening 25 minutes and Tabea Waßmuth added two after halftime.

With Wolfsburg, Juventus and Chelsea all finishing on 11 points and all taking five points from matches between them, the next tiebreaker was goal difference between them. Wolfsburg led with +2 followed by Juventus (+1) and Chelsea (-3). Swiss club Servette finished with no points, losing all six matches without scoring a goal. 

For those who may not follow the Women’s Champions League as closely as the men’s Champions League (first of all, what are you doing with your life), this is the equivalent of Manchester City failing to qualify for the group stage. Just like City, Chelsea is the best team in England (and spends the most money) and reached the Champions League final last season. 

When Blues coach Emma Hayes looks back at the group stage gone wrong, she’ll no doubt point to the howler-filled 3-3 draw with Wolfsburg on Oct. 6. That and Thursday’s shocking rout, Chelsea’s first 4-0 defeat since last season’s Women’s Champions League final.

Wolfsburg and Juventus will be joined in the Champions League quarterfinals by Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Lyon, PSG and Real Madrid.

Wolfsburg vs Chelsea Highlights (Women’s Champions League)

Given the teams’ 3-3 draw in their previous meeting this year, this match always had goals in it. It took 16 minutes for the opener, Svenja Huth bundling home after Chelsea failed to clear.

About seven minutes later, Huth doubled the advantage, finishing a stellar move that diced open the Chelsea defense. At this point, Chelsea was going out unless it could muster a response.

Things were so bad in the first half, Hayes was forced into a change before halftime, bringing on Ji So-yun for Sophie Ingle. It got worse early in the second half when captain Magdalena Eriksson had to come off injured after picking up a knock in the first half.

Just before the hour mark, Waßmuth skated through an Eriksson-sized hole in the defense and dinked the ball just inside the far post to make it 3-0.

As Chelsea struggled for an answer, Waßmuth smashed home her second in the 78th minute to put the Blues away. Waßmuth nearly had a hat trick but struck just wide on a similar opportunity to her first two goals. 

Despite boasting one of the best attacks in the world, including Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder, Fran Kirby, Erin Cuthbert, Jessie Fleming and Beth England, Chelsea was impotent against Wolfsburg. When the Blues did get a good look at goal, they either failed to hit the target (11 shots off frame) or couldn’t find a way past Almuth Schult, who made six saves.

Having crashed out of the Champions League, Chelsea will now have only the FA WSL to focus on. The Blues currently sit in second, four points back of Arsenal. Wolfsburg, meanwhile, leads Bayern Munich by one point and Hoffenheim by two points in the Frauen-Bundesliga standings. 

Arsenal fans right now:

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