Harder haunts old club Wolfsburg to rescue Chelsea


London (AFP) – Pernille Harder scored an injury-time equaliser against her former club as Chelsea escaped with a 3-3 draw against Wolfsburg in the opening game of their women’s Champions League campaign on Wednesday.

The Blues are aiming to go one better than last season when they reached the final for the first time, only to be thrashed 4-0 in Gothenburg by Barcelona.

Chelsea beat Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals last season, but for a long time it looked like the Germans would get their revenge at Kingsmeadow.

Sam Kerr had fired the English side into an early lead, but the visitors had turned the game around by half-time as Tabea Wassmuth and Jill Roord struck for the visitors.

Wassmuth scored again early in the second period as she pounced on an error from Jessica Carter.

Bethany England started the Chelsea fightback just three minutes later when she fired home in a goalmouth scramble.

But Chelsea looked destined for defeat until Harder, who moved between the clubs for a world record fee in 2020, calmly drilled home with seconds to spare.

Elsewhere in Group A, Juventus got off to a flying start with a 3-0 win over Swiss side Servette.

Arianna Caruso, Lina Hurtig and Valentina Cernoia were on target for the Italian champions.

Real Madrid got their first ever women’s Champions League campaign off to a winning start in Group B as Lorena Navarro’s goal earned the Spaniards a 1-0 win over Kharkiv in Ukraine.

Paris Saint-Germain are the favourites to top that section and were 2-0 winners in Iceland over Breidablik thanks to goals from Lea Khelifi and Grace Geyoro.

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