Going into this game I heard many commentators predict Birmingham were going to lose 5-0, 6-0 or even worse. The fact that in the end Blues only lost 1-0 which was down to a set piece may have surprised some but certainly not all including myself.
So far this season Birmingham have noticeably improved match by match. The team is finally starting to gel and the performances on the pitch are reflecting the growing confidence within the squad.
With Georgia Brougham returning to the back four, Blues looked a lot more settled at the back and Rachel Corsie gave a commanding performance that helped keep the scoreline down to just the one goal conceded. Corsie showed her leadership qualities and Brougham, Holloway and Scott each displayed heroics to keep the Chelsea threat at bay.
When Chelsea did find a way through our defence, goalkeeper Hannah Hampton was on hand time and time again to keep the ball out of the net with some wonderful saves. However, her distribution needs some work as many of her kicks went straight into touch.
Chelsea took the lead after just 9 minutes when Scott needlessly committed a foul when she got caught in possession when she could have easily just cleared the ball away. The resultant free kick from Erin Cuthbert somehow caught Blues defenders on the hop and Fran Kirby sprung from nowhere to head the ball home.
However, Scott redeemed herself later in the game when Hampton spilled the ball and it looked certain Beth England was on cue to knock it in when Scott managed to clear the ball off the line to prevent the goal!
Going forwards Blues had very few chances compared to Chelsea. Jamie-Lee Napier had a very good game as did Christie Murray and Lucy Whipp in the heart of midfield but Claudia Walker was a bit isolated on her own up front.
Walker had a glorious chance with just 8 minutes left on the clock. Harriet Scott did very well to cut inside a put a left footed cross into the box which landed perfectly for Walker to head but unfortunately she was just inches wide of the target.
Overall Blues will be very happy with their performance against the Champions and will now look to mix things up for their next game away to Blackburn Rovers in the Conti Cup.
Blues Women Fans PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Rachel Corsie – was an absolute rock in the heart of the defence and showed exactly why she’s so highly regarded as a top centre-back!