EMMA HAYES was ‘heartbroken’ to watch Chelsea go into shock ahead of the Champions League group stage as they were beaten 4-0 by Wolfsburg.
And the Blues boss thinks the rise of Covid – which has devastated the sport in recent weeks – may have affected the mindset of her players.
A clinical double by Tabea Wassmuth was one of the efforts that helped the German giants stun the WSL champions, avenging their March quarterfinal loss to the semester finalists. before.
The results come after a week that has seen two Chelsea stars – Ann-Katrin Berger and Drew Spence – test positive for coronavirus.
After the game, Hayes said: “I’m whole for the players because we all know it’s not a performance that represents my team.
“I’ve had players get sick, they’ve got diarrhea, they’re exhausted, and maybe some mental anxiety plays a part in that.
“But I just feel like this is deja vu and here we are again 12 months after the really, really bad Covid outbreak at the right time last year.
“I think that played a big part in our performance tonight.”
Chelsea’s loss to Wolfsburg comes days after the Conti Cup match between Manchester City and Leicester was postponed due to a number of Covid-19 cases in Man City’s squad.
Hayes added: “Last year, we had 20 cases where my whole team was injured and couldn’t go home to see my family.
“They don’t make hundreds of thousands of pounds a week. A few days ago we had two players go down with Covid.
“Our heads are everywhere. We are human.
“The stress, the anxiety, the anxiety of having to perform in a game when you’re thinking, ‘I just want to go home. I haven’t met my family, I’ve been to the Olympics. Oh, no, a Christmas. just born again.
“I’m not making excuses for the players, but I can tell you in the last three days their heads have been everywhere.”
The Blues’ defeat was compounded by WSL captain losing Magda Eriksson to injury early in the second half
At our normal best we wouldn’t be any worse than 4-0 against a team
And the result means that the Blues have gone 3 matches without scoring.
Hayes added: “We had a lot of great moments. In this club and this is not one of them.
“When you are faced with having to get the right results, everything has to be the way it is and unfortunately it isn’t.
“With our usual best form, we wouldn’t be able to lose 4-0 against a team.
“My team has been great for a long time. Now it’s not about being apart, we have to stick together in a really, really tough time. ”
Chelsea go into a match that needs to be a draw or a win to secure a place in parts of the tournament.
But Wolfsburg harassed their visitors from the start with Svenja Huth catching the bounce off a Shanice van de Sanden shot to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the round of 16.order minute.
Fran Kirby made a comfortable save from Almuth Schult shortly after before the German side doubled the lead.
They did so with captain Huth packing her brace with 23rd-minutes touch in the past Zecira Musovic.
Sam Kerr headed home for half an hour before Pernille Harder was forced to save from close range.
Hayes looked to bolster his attack by bringing in Ji So-yun near the first half in place of Sophie Ingle.
And the Korean midfielder tested Schult from afar just before the opening whistle blew.
The second spell saw Chelsea try to increase the tempo of the game with a Kirby shot that left the opposition keeper stellar to save.
And they were forced to bring in Aniek Nouwen in place of Eriksson with the captain still affected by her clumsy landing earlier.
The Blues’ attempts to fight their way back were thwarted with Wassmuth poking a slot for Musovic after Huth headed in around 60.order minute.
And the Bundesliga goal scorer sealed a 4-0 win in her second match with about a quarter of an hour of normal time remaining.
The German champions have seen victory to secure their spot in the last eight competitions with Chelsea having lost two of their last three in all competitions.
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4289014/emma-hayes-chelsea-champions-league/ Chelsea boss Hayes says Covid ‘stress’ affects players after Blues Champions League knockout