Chelsea’s Sam Kerr receives yellow card for shouldering pitch invader in Champions League draw with Juventus
Matildas captain and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr received a yellow card in her club’s Champions League group-stage match against Juventus after pushing over a pitch invader who had run onto the field in the game’s dying stages.
It capped off a frustrating night for the Blues who, just days after winning the FA Cup final in blistering fashion against Arsenal, were held to a tense, 0-0 draw by the Italian champions at Kingsmeadow on Thursday morning.
The draw was as good as a win for Juventus’ Australian manager Joe Montemurro, whose team threw their arms in the air and collapsed in celebration at the full-time whistle.
That result draws Juventus level, on 8 points, with second-placed Wolfsburg in group A, with Chelsea still leading the pack on 11 points.
However, the Italians now have the advantage leading into the group’s final round next week as they take on the winless Servette, while Chelsea face Wolfsburg to decide who goes through to the round of 16.
Montemurro also received a yellow card in the game’s chaotic final, minutes after furiously contesting a throw-in. The former Arsenal boss will take particular comfort from the point, having previously won just once in 12 games against Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes.
It was a dogged defensive performance by Montemurro’s Juventus side, with goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin putting on a Player of the Match display to keep her team in the contest.
Juventus were pinned in their own half for the first 45 minutes, failing to record a single shot, compared with Chelsea’s 11. The Blues started peppering Peyraud-Magnin’s goal almost from the opening whistle, with Erin Cuthbert’s shot tipped onto the crossbar.
Kerr had the best chance of the half around the 30-minute mark, sprinting clear of Juventus’ defenders before rounding the goalkeeper, but her touch took her so wide that her shot trickled past the far post at a tight angle.
In true Italian fashion, the visitors defended stoically. Juventus regularly sat in deep blocks, often with 10 players behind the ball, forcing Chelsea into wide crosses or shots from distance that Peyraud-Magnin swatted away.
Kerr almost gave Chelsea the lead just before the hour, tapping home a Fran Kirby cross, but was correctly flagged offside.
Tensions flared as the game wound down, with Kerr handed a yellow card after pushing over a pitch invader who’d come onto the field to get a selfie with Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson, forcing a pause in play.
Blues goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger and Juventus’ Barbara Bonansea also received yellow cards for a confrontation off the ball.
Chelsea must now earn at least a point in next week’s game against Wolfsburg — who eased past Servette 3-0 on Thursday — to guarantee passage through to the knock-out stage. Chelsea drew 3-3 with the German giants in their first-leg match back in October.
Elsewhere on Thursday, PSG dismantled minnows Zhytlobud-1 6-0 to qualify for the round of 16, while Real Madrid defeated Breidablik 3-0 in group B.
The final four games of match day five kick-off tomorrow morning as HB Koge take on Hoffenheim, Hacken face Bayern Munich, Arsenal host Barcelona, and Benfica play Olympique Lyon.