Ajax v Chelsea LIVE: Women’s Champions League result and reaction as Nusken scores twice in big away win

The climax of Emma Hayes’ dynasty is fast approaching and there is only one form that they will want that climax to take.

Much still needs to be done before Chelsea can ensure her final game is the Champions League final, but the manner of their quarter-final first leg victory over Ajax showed that they would be fitting finalists.It wasn’t pretty; it definitely wasn’t easy.

That, however, is the crucial part. Chelsea were tested, they struggled to find their best rhythm, but they were patient and it paid dividends. Follow all the reaction below. Get the latest match odds here.


  • Ajax - Van Eijk, Keijzer, Kardinaal, De Sanders, De Klonia, Van Gool, Noordam, Yohannes, Grant, Leuchter, T Hoekstra

  • Chelsea - Hampton, Perisset, Carter, Buchanan, Charles, Cuthbert, Leupolz, Nusken, Reiten, Kaneryd, James

  • Goal, 20’ - James takes advantage of a mix-up to score for Chelsea (0-1)

  • No goal, 40’ - VAR rules out Reiten’s finish

  • Goal, 42’ - Nusken scores moments later to double Blues’ lead (0-2)

  • Goal, 82’ - A second for Nusken as her header makes it three (0-3)

FT - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

20:40 , Karl Matchett

The climax of Emma Hayes’ dynasty is fast approaching and there is only one form that they will want that climax to take. Much still needs to be done before Chelsea can ensure her final game is the Champions League final, but the manner of their quarter-final first leg victory over Ajax showed that they would be fitting finalists.

It wasn’t pretty; it definitely wasn’t easy. That, however, is the crucial part. Chelsea were tested, they struggled to find their best rhythm, but they were patient and it paid dividends.

It was Ajax who had the better of the starts on Tuesday, spurred on by a record crowd for a women’s game in the Netherlands, their vocal home support, and the knowledge that they had a point to prove.

That point is that Ajax are in the ascendency and on their way to becoming the footballing talent-factory that has long made this club famous in the men’s game. The fact that their brightest talent came in the form of Lily Yohannes, a 16-year-old, was a sign that it is beginning to ring true for the women’s team too.


Chelsea pass Ajax test to keep Hayes on course for UWCL final send-off

FT - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

19:57 , Karl Matchett

More than one foot there, we’d argue. One foot and three or four toes perhaps. A Chelsea goal in the second leg and there’s no chance they concede four - in the last three years or so they’ve conceded four in a game to Wolfsburg, Barcelona and Arsenal. Doesn’t seem likely this Ajax side will be added to the list.

FT - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

19:47 , Karl Matchett

Possession 46-54

Attempts 9-12

On target 2-6

Pretty much Chelsea’s game throughout, after a very early shot against the woodwork from the hosts. That could have made matters very different.

FT - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

19:42 , Karl Matchett

And that’s the whistle - three goals and a brilliant first-leg lead for Chelsea. The second leg at Stamford Bridge should be largely a formality and a chance to fine-tune players’ fitness before a semi-final against either Brann or Barcelona.

Lauren James scored the first and thought she’d assisted the second - only for a VAR check to rule out Reiten’s strike. Reiten then set up Nusken only a moment later to score from close range anyway, with Nusken adding a third near the end following Macario’s great cross.

A fine night’s work: Ajax 0-3 Chelsea.

90’ - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

19:40 , Karl Matchett

Into stoppage time we go and we’ll have three minutes. Ajax having a bit of possession at the back now but going nowhere - they just don’t want any heavier a home defeat now.

Ultimately they’ve been lacking in the final third and unable to feed Leuchter much at all.

Time to watch on for Chelsea and Hayes, and see who impresses in tonight’s other quarter-final and those being played tomorrow.

86’ - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

19:36 , Karl Matchett

Cankovic on for Cuthbert in the aftermath of that goal. Noordman on for Van Gool too. And two more Chelsea subs, Ingle for Leupolz and Beever-Jones for Charles.

A few minutes run-out for each, with this match certainly settled and the quarter-final itself almost guaranteed to be done too.

GOAL! 82’ - Ajax 0-3 Chelsea

19:33 , Karl Matchett

Really well worked move, great delivery and perfect header - it’s 3-0 to Chelsea and that’s the tie done, surely.

Macario found space down the right and whipped over a brilliant cross; Nusken rises highest in the six-yard box and bullets a header past the keeper, who doesn’t even move.

That’s the third they wanted and that will surely be too much for the Dutch club.

78’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

19:28 , Karl Matchett

Inside the final quarter of an hour now. Ajax haven’t been a threat at all in the last 20 minutes or so - they need to find a way to hold the ball up in the final third or at least turn Chelsea’s defence around. It has been extremely comfortable for Carter and co for much of this half.

Here’s that second Chelsea goal from the end of the first half - it could prove vital.

74’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

19:24 , Karl Matchett

Macario immediately involved in the box and twice sees the ball come her way, but the first is a cross which is just too high and the second sees her surrounded and having to check back and tee up a teammate - but the Ajax defenders get back and crowd out Erin Cuthbert.

Emma Hayes no doubt keen to wrap matters up here in this first leg.

70’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

19:23 , Karl Matchett

Should be 3-0. Reiten has another great chance just a few yards out after a cross from the left, but blazes over. That could have been the tie all but wrapped up.

Hoekstra is replaced by Keukelaar for Ajax’s second change.

Double sub for Chelsea: James off, Macario on; Kaneryd replaced by Lawrence.

66’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

19:18 , Karl Matchett

First sub of the game - Yohannes replaced by Van de Velde.

Straight swap, the youngster was on a booking in midfield.

Van Eijk tested a couple of times in succession now; James curls the second attempt on target but her left-footed shot just lacks a bit of power.

62’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

19:11 , Karl Matchett

Noordam tries to surge through midfield and is challenged by...the referee. A stray arm to the head halts the Ajax player’s momentum and the flow of the game - she’s none too impressed as you can imagine.

Leuchter, who recently became Ajax’s all-time top scorer, chops down Buchanan by the touchline and the stop-start nature of this second 45 minutes continues.

Charles makes ground down the left but her cross is cut-out; a lofted pass from the right then finds Reiten who tees up Nusken - but her shot is miles over. Came at her fast, couldn’t quite control it.

58’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

19:07 , Karl Matchett

Approaching the hour mark and the game has been a little scrappy since the restart. Probably suits Chelsea if anything, as they don’t need to force the issue and can exploit any errors on the break.

Reminder of the rest of the quarter-finals:

Benfica vs Lyon - 8pm

Hacken vs PSG - Weds 5:45pm

Brann vs Barcelona - Weds 8pm

Second legs are played on the 27th and 28th of this month.

54’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

19:03 , Karl Matchett

Leuchter has been marginalised in this game and so attempts a 35-yard free-kick...goes about that distance over the bar, too.

Nice flowing move down the right side then for Chelsea as they look for a first counter of the second half, but the offside flag is up.

The Blues still just trying to find a foothold since the restart, just trying to slow the game and get some possession.

50’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:59 , Karl Matchett

Good, positive play from Ajax at the start of the second half but no sight of goal so far. Neat buildup but no shot or numbers in the box at the end of it.

Carter stands firm to defend well on a couple of occasions and Cuthbert turns smartly to avoid the Dutch side’s press.

46’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:56 , Karl Matchett

We are back underway in Amsterdam for the second half.

Ajax need a big 45 minutes and surely at least a goal, if not a couple and avoiding defeat on the night. Chelsea are extremely strong on home soil - a defeat to Man City a couple of games ago was their first since April last year.

HT - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:49 , Karl Matchett

A Dutch record crowd for this match - our reporter Adam Millington will be bringing his full-time report from the Amsterdam Arena later on.

HT - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:42 , Karl Matchett

The best of the celebrations from that first half - all for those in blue on the night.

Lauren James has been excellent, roving from centre-forward to deep areas and out to the left too, where she has caused havoc.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

HT - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:38 , Karl Matchett

There goes the whistle for the break, just after Yohannes - already on a yellow card - commits another foul.

Ajax’s alterations may need to include removing the teenager, who is walking a tightrope here.

45+4’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:36 , Karl Matchett

Nusken should wrap it up! Great play down the right by Kaneryd and Cuthbert then tees up the German - but her left-footed finish flies wide of the far post this time.

Almost her first two Champions League goals this season in the space of five minutes.

45+1’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:35 , Karl Matchett

The hosts know they simply have to find a way to score in the second half and keep the door shut at the other end.

Ajax will know they’ll be up against it at Stamford Bridge so can’t afford to concede more here.

Five minutes added on.

GOAL! 43’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:31 , Karl Matchett

GOAL! This one will count!

A threaded pass finds Reiten, who had that goal taken off her moments ago, and she plays a brilliant low cross first-time into the six-yard box. Nusken goes sliding in and beats the defender to the ball, diverting it past the keeper and in for 2-0!


NO GOAL - 42’ - Ajax 0-1 Chelsea

18:30 , Karl Matchett

Ruled out! A bizarrely lengthy VAR check on that goal - there was no offside, no handball and no touch from Nusken who was near the ball, on the goalline.

The referee is told to go check the moniter herself to make a call on this one but it’s tough to see why there would be an issue here.

The ball passes Nusken and a defender tries to block the ball behind her but there’s no real reason to think there’s an interference or stopping the ability of the defender to clear it... but no goal is given all the same!

Still only 1-0.

GOAL! 40’ - Ajax 0-2 Chelsea

18:26 , Karl Matchett

Two before the break!

De Klonia has to go through two challenges in succession to stop Chelsea getting in down their right - good play from the full-back.

James then attacks from the left instead, Reiten totally misses her header but the ball drops kindly for her and she smashes in at the second attempt - that’s 2-0 for Emma Hayes’ side.

36’ - Ajax 0-1 Chelsea

18:24 , Karl Matchett

Somewhat wild challenge from Keijzer to swipe Leupolz’s shin away. Free-kick on the left side of the box for the Blues; three players over it.

Perisset eventually delivers and finds Nusken centrally - she dips her head and nods vaguely goalwards, but gets the direction wrong and it’s five yards wide.

Ajax’s attempt to play out from the back is poor though and they concede another corner.

32’ - Ajax 0-1 Chelsea

18:19 , Karl Matchett

Over a third of the game gone then and Chelsea ahead, but not necessarily the better team. They probably look the more consistently dangerous, but some of their play has been sloppy and Ajax’s structure looks good - though they’ll know they need to be more clinical going forward.

The Blues have had 57% of possession so far.

Grant and Buchanan have a bit of a battle down the Ajax right and the former gets a shot away, but it’s into the near side netting and no real issue for Hampton this time.

28’ - Ajax 0-1 Chelsea

18:15 , Karl Matchett

Huge chance for Ajax, escape for Chelsea! Hampton is put under pressure, tries to dribble past the forward and is tackled, the ball breaks to Yohannes who attempts a chip from 25 yards...and skies it.

Well, well over the bar, with options to pass as well as to shoot for the 16-year-old.

Hampton very fortunate to not have cost an equaliser there.

24’ - Ajax 0-1 Chelsea

18:12 , Karl Matchett

Here’s that goal by James and the offside call which was given, then overruled.

Ajax have quickly made a bit of a push to get themselves back in the game but no cutting edge in the final third for them since the early moments and that struck woodwork.

Leupolz makes a crude challenge in the middle and is lucky to escape without a card.

GOAL! 20’ - Ajax 0-1 Chelsea

18:07 , Karl Matchett

Indeed, that’s a comfortable onside call for James and the celebrations begin!

Ajax stunned, Chelsea surprised, James gets the reward for playing on and making the most of a double defensive deflection!

1-0 to the visitors.

20’ - Ajax 0-0 Chelsea

18:06 , Karl Matchett

James knocks the ball around the ‘keeper and tucks it away although everybody has stopped for an apparent offside.

We’re getting a look at the replay doesn’t look offside at all. We’ll see momentarily but this could be a lead for the Blues...

16’ - Ajax 0-0 Chelsea

18:02 , Karl Matchett

Lily Yohannes goes in late with a slide tackle after a misplaced pass and that’s a booking - and a significant one. She’ll miss the second leg back in London, suspended.

Big chance for Lauren James just afterwards as Ajax fail to clear their lines and the ball is nodded back to her - but a swiping half-volley skims well away from goal.

12’ - Ajax 0-0 Chelsea

18:00 , Karl Matchett

Hoekstra winds through a couple of challenges, shifts the ball to her right foot and curls one on target - but it’s routine for Hampton to get down to and smother. A second Champions League start for the Blues for the goalkeeper tonight.

A clean sheet here would go a long way to seeing the Blues progress to the last four - the winners from this tie will face Brann or Barcelona in the semis.

8’ - Ajax 0-0 Chelsea

17:55 , Karl Matchett

So close! Yohannes does brilliantly to find space and tee up Leuchter - and her first-time shot beats Hampton and rebounds out off the post!

Woodwork for Ajax but no closer. Reiten attacks down the right up the other end of the pitch but her attempted cut-back is intercepted.

Openings at both ends in this early spell of the match.

4’ - Ajax 0-0 Chelsea

17:50 , Karl Matchett

A first corner in the first couple of minutes; it’s too long for a headed chance but Kaneryd keeps it alive with some smart footwork at the far post.

James is then played in down the left channel and her cross is eventually half-volley wide by Perisset.

Couple of half-decent openings for the visitors.

1’ - Ajax 0-0 Chelsea

17:48 , Karl Matchett

We are underway! Early mishap almost at the back but Chelsea clear their lines. Suzanne Bakker already out directing her team from the touchline.

Ajax vs Chelsea - LIVE

17:44 , Karl Matchett

Anthems done, teams out, handshakes done. We are ready to go in Amsterdam as Chelsea look to continue their path towards that elusive European trophy.

Ajax vs Chelsea - LIVE

17:40 , Karl Matchett

Just a few minutes to kick-off at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Emma Hayes: ‘It wasn’t right’ to call player-to-player relationships ‘inappropriate’

17:34 , Karl Matchett

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says she “didn’t think it was right to use the term inappropriate” when describing player-to-player relationships within the same squad, adding that her comments this week had been “blown up in an unnecessary way”.

On Thursday, Hayes said player-to-player relationships within the same dressing room can lead to challenges to managers. Hayes made the comments while responding to questions surrounding the topic of coach-to-player relationships, which has come into focus this week after Leicester manager Willie Kirk was suspended by the club amid allegations of a relationship with a player in the Leicester team.

During her answer, Hayes said: “Player-coach relationships - they’re inappropriate, player-to-player relationships are inappropriate.”

The Chelsea squad contains players who are in relationships with each other, including Jess Carter. The England and Chelsea defender is in a relationship with goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger.

Emma Hayes: ‘It wasn’t right’ to call player-to-player relationships ‘inappropriate’

Ajax vs Chelsea - LIVE

17:29 , Karl Matchett

Chelsea forward Erin Cuthbert still finds herself dreaming of a first Champions League trophy despite boss Emma Hayes’ firm reality-rooted approach to the competition.

The Blues, who face Ajax at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena on Tuesday night in the first of their two-leg last-eight encounter, remain on course to become just the second English side to complete a quadruple – with Arsenal Women having done so in 2007 – when Hayes was a member of the Gunners’ coaching staff.

The European club title is the one accolade that has so far eluded Hayes, who after winning 15 trophies in charge of Chelsea will depart at the end of the season to take up her new role as head coach of the United States women’s national team.

Erin Cuthbert still dreaming of first Champions League trophy with Chelsea

Ajax vs Chelsea - LIVE

17:22 , Karl Matchett

Sherida Spitse isn’t in the lineup for Ajax tonight but the club captain said ahead of the game:

“Ajax also want to play football and that we are not scared. We are playing with - maybe you can say - with a little bit of attitude, because that is Ajax.”

Emma Hayes pointed out Spitse’s talents as an example of the threat Ajax pose.

“I know Spitse doesn’t play tomorrow but I’m a big fan of hers, I think she’s a marvellous football player. I think they are a club that have serious ambitions in Europe, they’ve demonstrated that so far. Because we’ve played them before we know how good they are so we certainly won’t be going into it with our eyes shut.”

Ajax vs Chelsea - LIVE

17:15 , Karl Matchett

Ajax got to this stage by finishing second in Group C, behind PSG only on head to head results.

They won three, drew one and lost two, which was enough to finish ahead of Bayern and Roma.

Chelsea were unbeaten with four wins from six, topping Group D ahead of Hacken, Paris FC and Real Madrid.

How to watch Women’s Champions League tonight

17:09 , Karl Matchett

Chelsea will continue their chase of the perfect send-off for Emma Hayes with a Women’s Champions League quarter-final against Ajax.

The last eight tie will be contested across two legs as the two sides look to advance to the last four.

Chelsea, whose manager Hayes will depart at the end of the season, impressed in the group stages as they seek a first continental crown.

Ajax, meanwhile, have been the tournament surprise package, emerging from a group that also included Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Roma to become only the second Dutch team to make the quarter-finals in competition history.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Is Ajax v Chelsea on TV? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch tonight

Ajax vs Chelsea - LIVE

17:02 , Karl Matchett

Confirmed lineups:

Ajax - Van Eijk, Leuchter, Noordam, Grant, Keijzer, T Hoekstra, Yohannes, Van Gool, De Klonia, De Sanders, Kardinaal

Chelsea - Hampton, Perisset, Carter, Buchanan, Charles, Cuthbert, Leupolz, Nusken, Reiten, Kaneryd, James

Ajax vs Chelsea predictions

16:57 , The Independent

Amsterdam is the next stop on the Emma Hayes’ farewell tour when Chelsea Women take on Ajax Women in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday evening (5.45pm, TNT Sports 1).

The Blues have won every major domestic honour under Hayes’ tenure, but are still to win a European title, losing out to Barcelona in the 2021 final.

Ajax have proved to be no pushers in this campaign, coming home as runners-up on goal difference to Paris Saint-Germain in Group C.

Hayes and her team are odds-on, but it may not be straightforward for the Blues to take control of the tie. Here are our predictions and tips ahead of the match.

Ajax vs Chelsea predictions Women's Champions League tips, football odds & free bets

Ajax vs Chelsea - LIVE

16:51 , The Independent

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Good evening

11:13 , Ben Fleming

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the Women’s Champions League quarter-final first leg between Ajax and Chelsea. Emma Hayes’ side were unbeaten in the group stage but face a potential banana skin in Ajax who became just the second Dutch team to make the quarter-finals in the competition’s history.

Stay tuned right here for all the build-up, team news and match action from Amsterdam.