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Chelsea 2 Atletico Madrid 0: Top stopper Berger helps Blues beat Atletico after Ingle sees red

ANN-KATRIN BERGER put in a heroic shift in goal for Chelsea saving TWO penalties in a dramatic Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid. 

And goals from Maren Mjelde and Fran Kirby helped the 10-player Blues turn their nightmare start into a victorious 2-0 dream finish.  

Prior to kick-off, Emma Hayes said the clash between her WSL aces and their visitors would be the tie of round 16.

And it proved to be the case for Chelsea who were missing skipper Magda Eriksson due to injury and who saw Sophie Ingle given her marching orders.

But Berger helped her team bounce back after they went down to 10 players helping them grab a vital win ahead of the second leg. 

Blues boss Emma Hayes said: "Goalkeepers don’t get spoken about enough. Two penalties, two saves, a kick on the head, I thought her overall performance was outstanding. 

"She’s the best shot-stopper in the league, everyone in my squad says she’s extremely difficult to beat. 

"Let’s give her the credit tonight, she was absolutely brilliant.

“You go to work every day to prepare your team for games and you also have to prepare your teams for unexpected moments,

"That's whether you're going down to 10 players, conceding a penalty, making some changes that are not necessarily the ones you’d expect to make at that time of the game.

“I think there are three words - discipline, structure, game management.

“They are the three things that this team is built around, but I have a group of leaders that cope with difficult moments.

"You’re talking about our captain not being on the pitch today, throughout the spine of the team, in fact all over, it was a wonderful performance of doing the right things at the right time.

In a cagey first ten minutes, the Blues had a few decent chances to open the scoring. 

First with Ji So-yun shooting wide following Millie Bright’s delightful fourth-minute pass.

And then in the tenth minute with Pernille Harder forcing ex-Blues stopper Hedvig Lindahl to tip the ball over the bar. 

But Chelsea’s assured start suffered a huge blow with Sophie Ingle seeing red moments later.

The Wales star conceded a pen after appearing to catch the ankle of Atletico’s Rasheedat Ajibade 

And it was Berger who came to Chelsea’s rescue keeping out Deyna Castellanos' 13th-minute penalty. 

The red card forced the WSL champs to bring on Niamh Charles for Beth England and change to a 4-4-1 formation. 

But their opponents - who knocked out Man City in round 16 of the contest last season - failed to make the most of their 11-player advantage. 

They would be punished for their lack of attacking ambition when they conceded a penalty in the 57th minute. 

And it was Maren Mjelde who stepped up to convert, smashing the ball past an outstretched Lindahl.  

The Blues went on to extend their lead seven minutes later, with Fran Kirby netting less than a minute after hitting the post. 

Atletico would have another chance to score through a second penalty after Berger brought down Brazil ace Ludmila. 

But the Germany stopper was the hero once again saving another spot-kick in the 79th minute. 

It was enough to help Chelsea seal a 2-0 win ahead of a mouthwatering second leg in Monza in Italy. 

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