The joy of Chelsea while celebrating goals from Hannah Blundell and Erin Cuthbert for their chances of reaching the Women’s Champions League semi-finals for a second consecutive year was marred by a group of visiting Paris Saint-Germain supporters armed with weapons.
The armed supporters were later turned away from the ground by police before kick-off.
Chelsea had been nursing the hope of reaching the last four of the Champions League for the second season in succession.
BBC SPORTS reported that one person was arrested for possession of Class A drugs in dramatic events not usually associated with women’s club football.
The Police, however, confirmed that they had confiscated knives and knuckledusters when they searched the fans’ coach.
Earlier, a group of PSG’s “ultra” supporters caused damage at the stadium before being escorted away from the ground and Chelsea’s manager, Emma Hayes, admitted she is hoping no Chelsea supporters will be dissuaded from making the trip to the French capital for the second leg next Wednesday as a result.
“I don’t think we should discourage anyone from going,” she said. “But at the same time we have got remember that the women’s game is progressing and the fans are following. With that comes the same level of scrutiny. But they have to behave, whether that’s our fans or theirs.”
Hayes had acknowledged this week that the new deal with Barclays to sponsor the Women’s Super League – worth in excess of £10m over the next three seasons – could help England’s domestic league establish itself as the best in the world, describing it as a “watershed moment” for the women’s game in this country. Yet coming after the semi-final last season, when they were overwhelmed by Wolfsburg 5-1 on aggregate, this tie against the side who finished runners-up in both 2015 and 2017 was a real test of the progress that Chelsea have made under their manager.
Some PSG supporters did make it into the ground for kick-off and made themselves heard in a healthy crowd of more than 2,500 that included the former PSG defender David Luiz.
Karen Carney on Chelsea’s left flank, the home side struggled to create a chance in the opening half without Fran Kirby or Ramon Bachmann, both of whom started on the bench in what Hayes admitted was a tactical decision. PSG also specialised in defensive play.
Chelsea struggled in attack this season in comparison with the league leaders, Arsenal and Manchester City.