Chelsea Ladies took a big step towards the Champions League quarter-finals with an impressive first-leg win in their last-16 tie against Rosengard.
Emma Hayes’ side were totally dominant in the first half, but only had Fran Kirby’s classy finish to show for it.
Their Swedish opponents improved after the interval, but Ramona Bachmann – against her former club – doubled Chelsea’s lead from Ji So-Yun’s pass.
Gilly Flaherty added the third after Kirby’s initial shot was blocked.
Rosengard’s team selection at Kingsmeadow was a surprise with striker Anja Mittag, the only player with 50 Champions League goals, starting on the bench.
They barely made it out of their own half in the first 20 minutes as Chelsea’s players harried them remorselessly high up the pitch and carved out a series of good opportunities.
Flaherty’s flick was headed off the line and keeper Zecira Musovic saved from Bachmann, Katie Chapman and Ji twice, before Kirby checked back onto her left foot after receiving Maren Mjelde’s pass and found the far corner of the net.
Boss Malin Levenstad’s half-time talk stiffened Rosengard’s resolve and Chelsea, who knocked out Bayern Munich in the previous round, had a couple of anxious moments before regaining the initiative.
The Swedes finally brought on Mittag after 66 minutes, only for the home side to strike again just a few seconds after her introduction when Ji fed Bachmann and she slotted home left-footed.
Hayes’ team did not ease up and, after former Chelsea player Anita Asante failed to clear a ball into the box, it eventually fell to Flaherty, who gave Musovic no chance.
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