Bayern vs Chesea FC: Emma Hayes backs ‘relentless’ Sam Kerr ahead of Women’s Champions League semi-final

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James Robson
·2-min read
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<p>Hayes: Kerr is ‘playing the best football of her career’</p> (Getty Images)

Hayes: Kerr is ‘playing the best football of her career’

(Getty Images)

Emma Hayes is hoping Sam Kerr can maintain her outstanding form to fire Chelsea to a first Women’s Champions League final.

Ahead of Sunday’s semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich, the Chelsea manager hailed her leading scorer, who hit her 18th goal of the season in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

That result kept Hayes’ side at the top of the Women’s Super League – but thoughts turn to Europe this weekend when Bayern stand in their way of a final against Paris St-Germain or Barcelona in Gothenburg next month.

And in-form Kerr could be key.

Hayes said: “This is a player that was creating chances for fun, maybe not finishing at that point, but you have to respect the ease of which she used to go beyond players and now she’s got the whole package.

Kerr celebrates a goal vs Man CityGetty Images
Kerr celebrates a goal vs Man CityGetty Images

“Her hold-up play, her link play, her role from set-pieces, her ability to run behind, her transitional play, everything. I think she’s playing the best football of her career.

“She is relentless, a wonderful athlete and a wonderful human, but we need to speak about her ability in games.”

Kerr was outstanding against City, with Hayes adding: “It was second to none in what was a really stressful game. She delivered the biggest moments for the team when it mattered and she’s doing it time and time again.”

Bayern are also leading the way in Germany after beginning the season with 26 straight wins.

But their coach Jens Scheuer believes Chelsea are living up to their bid to lead the way in Europe.

He said: “Chelsea have managed to build an outstanding team in recent years. They have many international stars in their squad.

“For example they signed Pernille Harder from Wolfsburg. Chelsea wanted to be at the top of Europe and they walked the walk. It’s a huge challenge for us.”

Harder is a sign of Chelsea’s intentionsAFP via Getty Images
Harder is a sign of Chelsea’s intentionsAFP via Getty Images

Bayern captain Lina Magull added: “Chelsea are a very good team with many good players - especially in attack.

“Two years ago in pre-season we won 5-0, but you cannot compare that with their current team. I don’t know if they are a new power in Europe, but we know that they are very strong opponents.”

Chelsea have twice reached the Champions League semi-finals, falling short in 2018 and 2019.

Bayern were beaten in their one semi-final in 2019 – meaning the competition is guaranteed a first time finalist this season.

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