Great Britain

Chelsea out to make history and join Arsenal as only English Women’s Champions League winners

ARSENAL are still the ONLY English club to have carved its name on to the Women’s Champions League trophy.

And my name is written in the history books for scoring the winner in the final against Swedish side Umea in 2007.

We went in as total underdogs not expected to win the competition that was then known as the Uefa Women’s Cup.

The clock was ticking in the dying seconds of the game when the ball fell to me from far outside the box.

With the scores stubbornly locked at 0-0 I knew what I had to do.

I took a touch, looked up and sent a sweet, long-range strike dipping and curling beyond the Umea goalkeeper.

There was stunned silence before I realised what had happened as mayhem ensued on the Arsenal bench.

It was the only goal over the two legs and of course my name made all the headlines.

But it was the WHOLE team and our hero goalkeeper Emma Byrne who propelled the club to European glory.

It was never about one player, which the game never should be.

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Years later when I bitterly watched the Germans lift the European Championship trophy in 2013, Hope Powell gave me some pearls of wisdom.

After England were spanked in the group stages the Lionesses boss told me: "Remember this feeling because you’ll never want to experience it again."

Those words of wisdom should be etched in every Chelsea player’s mind today as they go toe-to-toe with Barcelona in their first Champions League final.

They’ve tasted defeat on the European stage after they crashed out in the semi-finals to Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.

Every one of those Blues aces deserves to be at the Gamla Ullevi stadium in Sweden tonight.

But I don’t want them to be the ones with their heads hanging in shame while Barca lift the trophy.

Boss Emma Hayes will not rest on her laurels and she’s got one last hurdle to make history.

When Chelsea made Pernille Harder the most expensive player in the history of women’s football in 2020, it was a real statement of intent.

They had just won the WSL for a third time and the Continental Cup for the first time.

Hayes had every domestic trophy in her cabinet - and her sights were set on that elusive European stage.

Cue Harder, who put the Blues 4-3 up on aggregate against Bayern in the dying moments of the Champions League semi-final second leg, before Fran Kirby secured victory in stoppage-time.

Blues may have broken the bank for the Denmark star but that winning strike was priceless.

You could tell by the emotion on Hayes' face.

But keeper Ann-Katrin Berger, who joined in January 2019, has also been crucial in the quest for a European trophy.

Harder, Sam Kerr and Kirby will get all the plaudits but Berger has been sensational.

Every single one of those Chelsea players has had key moments to get them on the brink of toasting Champions League glory tonight.

Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

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