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Chelsea 1-1 Ajax (agg: 4-1): Blues through thanks to first-leg flourish

Ajax held Chelsea on the night but they could not prevent the hosts progressing to the Women's Champions League semi-finals for the fifth time in seven seasons.

Highlights: Chelsea 1-1 Ajax

Mayra Ramírez's goal ensured Chelsea moved into the semi-finals of this season's UEFA Women's Champions League still unbeaten, with their 1-1 draw with Ajax giving them a 4-1 aggregate victory against the Dutch club in the last eight.

Key moments

18': Hoekstra charges Musovic down and ball hits post from 35 metres
33': Ramírez scores on club European debut from Reiten pass
65': Grant pokes in first-time shot to draw Ajax level on the night

Match in brief: Chelsea grind way into semis

Chelsea captain Erin Cuthbert put an early chance wide before goalkeeper Zećira Musovic was caught out 35 metres from goal and Ajax's Tiny Hoekstra saw the ball rebound off her and then the foot of the post before going wide.

While the Dutch side's record scorer Romée Leuchter also had good opportunities, it was the hosts who went in front 12 minutes before the break as Guro Reiten slid in Ramírez and she claimed her first European goal for the club with a composed finish under Regina van Eijk.

Mayra Ramírez slots in the opener to firm up Chelsea's advantage in the tie
Mayra Ramírez slots in the opener to firm up Chelsea's advantage in the tieUEFA via Getty Images
As it happened: Chelsea 1-1 Ajax (agg: 4-1)

Ajax continued to persevere after the restart and got the goal their efforts merited 20 minutes into the second half, with Chasity Grant poking past Musovic after a lovely threaded pass from Hoekstra.

Leuchter might have won the game for the visitors in the closing stages after turning Jess Carter but Musovic made a brilliant late one-handed stop to deny her. She did similar to Danique Tolhoek and the stalemate in London means Chelsea progress to the last four for the fifth time in seven seasons.

Another view of Chelsea's Colombian ace breaking the deadlock in west London
Another view of Chelsea's Colombian ace breaking the deadlock in west LondonAFP via Getty Images

Visa Player of the Match: Erin Cuthbert

"She controlled the midfield, broke up opposition creation, started attacks on transitions when pinching and was involved in wide area combos in the first half. Composed in possession."
UEFA Technical Observer panel

Erin Cuthbert vies for possession with Jonna van de Velde
Erin Cuthbert vies for possession with Jonna van de VeldeAFP via Getty Images

Paul Saffer, match reporter at Stamford Bridge

Ajax bow out with pride and could even have snatched it on the night at the end of their best European run by a long way, having come through an incredibly tough group. But Chelsea's job was done in the first leg (and the first half tonight), and their quadruple hopes in Hayes's last season remain alive. Now they wait to see if it will be nemeses Barcelona again in the semis.


Erin Cuthbert, Chelsea midfielder: “We’re in the semi-finals, I’m delighted! It was a tough match tonight. Ajax did really well, they came out as we expected them to. We could have put a little bit more away and given ourselves a bit more breathing room, but the job was really done in the first leg."

Sherida Spitse, Ajax captain: “I think we can be really proud of what we have showed today. We are a little disappointed as we are not going to the next round, but in the end we can be really happy what we have shown, what we have done in this game and the games before."

Cuthbert 'delighted' as Chelsea advance

Emma Hayes, Chelsea manager: “When you make changes, it disrupts the rhythm of the team, but full credit to everybody. When we scored, perhaps we took the foot off the pedal and in the second half it became quite transitional but I'm really happy to be through.”

Suzanne Bakker, Ajax coach: “Chelsea are a really good team with top players. I love watching football and if I see, say, the way Cuthbert is playing today, that is nice, even if she was our opponent. But what we have shown against them, I can be really proud of my own team.”

Mayra Ramírez's 33rd-minute strike made it 4-0 on aggregate
Mayra Ramírez's 33rd-minute strike made it 4-0 on aggregateAFP via Getty Images

Key stats

  • Chelsea have now won all five Champions League quarter-finals in which they have been involved (all under Hayes).
  • Chelsea have won all 12 previous Champions League ties where they won the first leg.
  • Chelsea missed out on equalling their European-record run of five straight victories, although they have extended their club-best unbeaten sequence to nine.
  • Ajax missed out on becoming the first Dutch club to progress to the semi-finals.


Chelsea: Musovic; Périsset, Carter, Buchanan (Nüsken 66), Lawrence; Cuthbert, Ingle; Beever-Jones (Rytting Kaneryd 76), Kirby, Reiten (Čanković 66); Ramírez (Macario 66)

Ajax: Van Eijk; Kardinaal (Verhoeve 76), Spitse, De Sanders (Tolhoek 87), De Klonia (Keijzer 46); Noordam, Van Gool, Van de Velde (Noordman 68); Grant, Leuchter, T. Hoekstra (Keukelaar 68)

What's next?

Chelsea will face Brann or Barcelona in the semi-finals on 20/21 and 27/28 April. Chelsea will be at home in the second leg.