‘I almost can’t let the tears go’ – Hayes overwhelmed as Chelsea reach Champions League final, Swahili Post

‘I almost can’t let the tears go’ – Hayes overwhelmed as Chelsea reach Champions League final

Emma Hayes celebrates Chelsea reaching ‘dream’ Champions League final

Manager Emma Hayes says she is “overwhelmed” and struggling to express her pride at guiding Chelsea to their first Women’s Champions League final.

The Blues beat Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate, overturning a 2-1 first-leg deficit to win 4-1 and reach the final against Barcelona on 16 May.

“The resilience in this group is just so unbelievable,” Hayes said.

“Of course I want to win the final, but I am going to acknowledge the achievement of making history.”

Late goals by Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby saw Chelsea clinch victory in an absorbing game at Kingsmeadow to ensure they will take on Barca in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“We put thousands of hours into what we do and I’m going to have a nice evening,” Hayes said after seeing her side survive a frantic finish before wrapping up victory in time added on.

“I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I can’t describe it. I almost can’t let the tears go.

“How do you describe the pride you have for the club you represent, for the people you represent? I’m a very maternal figure in here and I’m so happy for everyone.

“I’ve wanted it so badly. It was the longest week in the world. I had to do everything to keep my emotions in check, keep training normal. I just wanted the game to come. I’m so happy it was an early kick-off.

“I’ve been in enough of these games now to know they’re never straightforward. Fair play to Bayern, I think they were a tremendous opponent.”

But Hayes was also mindful of the need to focus on Chelsea’s Women’s Super League run-in.

Victory in the last two matches of the season against Tottenham and Reading will guarantee back-to-back titles and mean Chelsea are still on track to win a quadruple, having already won the Continental Cup.

Hayes said: “The biggest game of our lives is Wednesday night. I want to win the league. There’s no celebrating. OK, I’ll have a glass but my mind’s on Tottenham.

“The players will be in bright and early [on Monday]. Tough. They’re not getting the day off.”

‘I almost can’t let the tears go’ – Hayes overwhelmed as Chelsea reach Champions League final, Swahili Post‘I almost can’t let the tears go’ – Hayes overwhelmed as Chelsea reach Champions League final, Swahili Post

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