'Just need to stick the ball in the net'

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A football goal is 7.32 metres wide and 2.44 metres high, but last night it wasn’t big enough. The FCB Women had 19 efforts on goal against Chelsea Ladies in the first leg of their Champions League round of 32 tie, but not one of them went over the line. “Somehow a foot or a hand was always there in the way. The ball just didn’t want to go in,” bemoaned midfielder Melanie Behringer. “We played really well but unfortunately we didn’t get what we deserved. That’s hard to swallow,” commented coach Thomas Wörle.

Chelsea Ladies ran out winners at a lively Kingsmeadow Stadium. The English side had just one shot on the Bayern goal but Drew Spence’s 10th-minute strike was enough to give the hosts a 1-0 victory. The officials failed to spot an offside but the Munich girls didn’t want to use that as an excuse for a needless defeat. “We had enough chances to at least make it 1-1,” stressed Wörle.

“Not an easy position for the second leg”

Aside from their accuracy in front of goal, the FCB head coach can be thoroughly satisfied with the performance of his team. “We go home with our heads held high,” he said after possibly the Bayern Women’s strongest performance in the Champions League. “We dominated both halves, the second more so than the first. We constricted them,” summarised Wörle. “We were totally dominant but we should’ve scored more than one goal and gone back home with a win. But we didn’t manage to do that,” said Behringer.

Why was that? “Small details,” believed Wörle, speaking of “final precision” and a “cool head in the heat of the moment.” That’s certainly what Bayern will have to show in the second leg next Wednesday at the Grünwalder Stadion (11 October, 19:00 CEST). “It’s not an easy position for the second leg but we’re capable of pinning Chelsea back again like we did tonight,” said Wörle. “And then we just need to stick the ball in the net,” added goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger.

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