Incoming USWNT head coach Emma Hayes stuns mighty Barcelona at home with upset win

Incoming United States women’s national team head coach Emma Hayes sent shockwaves through the women’s soccer world on Saturday as her Chelsea side defeated Barcelona 1-0 on the road in the first leg of the Women’s Champions League semifinal.

The defending Champions League winners were undefeated at home in the previous FIVE YEARS. Hayes’ side limited Barcelona, who had scored 33 goals in eight Champions League games this season, to just one shot on target.

The result is also Barcelona’s first defeat of the season.

Chelsea went in with a solid game plan of locking in on defense and taking advantage of the few chances they had with Barcelona dominating possession. The Blues found their breakthrough in the 40th minute through Erin Cuthbert.

Barcelona’s search for an equalizer proved difficult against a stout Chelsea defense. The Spanish giants thought they had a great opportunity when awarded a penalty for a handball, however a VAR review ruled that there was an offside call in the buildup.

Hayes’ reaction to the victory is what should really excite USWNT fans. Despite doing what no team had been able to do in half a decade, she was all business in her postgame interview. There was no time to celebrate because she knew the job wasn’t done.

This is why the people at U.S. Soccer are making Hayes the highest paid women’s head coach in the world. Some fans have been annoyed that the English manager won’t join the national team until May, just a short time before the Olympics.

Results like this victory against the best team in the world and her attitude are exactly what the USWNT need and why she’s worth the wait.

Hayes and her Chelsea side lost to Barcelona in the Champions League final back in 2021 and in last season's semifinal. She will be searching for her first Champions League title before departing the club at the end of the season.

Chelsea will host Barcelona in the second leg at Stamford Bridge on Friday.

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