Abramovich pays dressing room visit to Chelsea women after Champions League final drubbing as players make pledge to Russian owner — RT Sport News

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    Chelsea’s billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich was on hand to commiserate with the women’s team after they suffered a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in Sunday’s Champions League final in Sweden.

</p><div><p>Appearing for the first time in the European women’s showpiece, Chelsea found themselves four goals behind to a rampant Barcelona team after just 36 minutes in Gothenburg.

Emma Hayes’ English champions steadied the ship in the second half but failed to mount any signs of an unlikely comeback as they suffered heartache against the Spanish giants.

Watching on from the stands was club owner Abramovich, who had flown in to be at the game.

The Russian tycoon is a key supporter of the women’s set-up and has invested substantially in the team, even calling Hayes to congratulate her personally when Chelsea sealed the English Women’s Super League earlier this month.

After Chelsea fell short against Barcelona on Sunday, Hayes revealed the players had pledged to Abramovich that they would bounce back on the biggest stage.

“Our owner came in to see us and all the girls were very quick to say we’d be back here,” said the straight-talking Blues manager.

“We’ll work hard on the training ground to make sure we do that. I’m just gutted we didn’t have the chance to make a game of it. We’ve had a wonderful season but, at times, we were a bit naive.”

Chelsea came up against a formidable Barcelona team who have already wrapped up their domestic league title without dropping a single point in 26 games thus far, scoring 128 goals and conceding just five.

Competing in a second Champions League final, the Spanish side were ahead after just 33 seconds on Sunday after an attempted clearance hit midfielder Melanie Leupolz and went in for an own goal, before a penalty from Alexia Putellas doubled Barcelona’s lead in the 14th minute.

Aitana Bonmati added a third six minutes later before Caroline Graham Hansen tapped in to make it four, as Barcelona became the first club to see their men’s and women’s teams win Europe’s biggest club prize. 

Chelsea improved after the break but were unable to make inroads.

“I was gutted that, after 40 minutes we were 4-0 down because, for me as a coach, it then became impossible,” Hayes said. 

“It’s a difficult place to be. I did my best, I tried to change a few things just to give us a little bit of momentum but it wasn’t to be.

“It will be difficult for the players, when they reflect on it.”

Domestically, Chelsea have been all-conquering this season, winning the league title, the League Cup and still being in the hunt for the FA Cup.

However, they are yet to taste European glory despite Abramovich sanctioning a spending spree last summer which included the world record signing of Danish star Pernille Harder and the addition of stars including Australian sensation Sam Kerr and Germany’s Leupolz.

Beyond financial support, Abramovich has been active in backing the women’s team publicly, including spending time with them on a trip to Israel in 2019.


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Sunday’s loss capped a disappointing weekend for the club after Chelsea’s men suffered FA Cup final defeat to Leicester City at Wembley on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel’s men have a Champions League final of their own to look forward to against Manchester City in Portugal on May 29 – a game which Abramovich is also expected to attend.

However, before that they face a battle to secure a top-four Premier League finish and guaranteed qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Currently fourth in the table, the Blues play third-placed Leicester again in a league meeting on Tuesday, before closing their season at Aston Villa next Sunday.

Leicester have a two-point gap ahead of the London club, while fifth-placed Liverpool are one point behind Chelsea but have a seemingly much kinder run-in.  


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