The 2023/24 women’s European club campaign is underway. And one of the highlights of the opening match week of Champions League was Real Madrid vs Chelsea.

Both sides came into the European clash in top form. With only one loss between the two in their respective starts to their Women’s Super League and Liga F seasons, it was a battle of elite teams.

This game was of note to USA fans. Chelsea FC manager Emma Hayes will be finishing out the 2023/24 season with the Blues before becoming the next manager of the United States Women’s National Team. The six-time Women’s Super League winning – including the last four in a row – coach will be hoping to turn around a program that just logged its worst-ever performance at a World Cup this past summer.

Madrid got off to a fast start, grabbing the lead in the 10th minute when Olga Carmona scored on a superb shot from distance.

Chelsea dominates, but can’t capitalize on chances

But after that, it was all Chelsea and seemingly inevitable that the Blues would win this game. Chelsea carried 62% of the possession in the game and outshot Madrid 20-4. But a Niamh Charles goal in the 41st minute and a 1-1 scoreline was all they had to show for it through about 3/4 of the game.

Sam Kerr’s thundering header in the 74th minute looked like it could be the game-winner.

But just minutes later, the game turned on its head again. Madrid was awarded a penalty for a foul right at the edge of the box. Olga took a fantastic PK to tie the game 2-2. From then on it was again Chelsea who had the bulk of the chances.

This included what would have been the winner at the very death. Charles found herself on the end of a great cross, and slotted it home. But it was called off by the linesman for what only could have been an off-the-ball foul.

Between that ending and some missed opportunities, Chelsea will surely feel hard done with the result.

Chelsea will host Paris FC in their next Champions League, while Madrid travels away to BK Häcken, current group leaders, on November 23rd.

You can follow along with the game updates as they happened below.

Photos: Imago.