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Sjoeke Nusken’s Brace Guides Chelsea To Commanding Win Over Ajax

Sjoeke Nusken’s brace proved decisive as Chelsea clinched a commanding victory over Ajax, seizing control of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final encounter.

Ajax, making their debut at this stage, initially threatened, striking the post early on. However, Chelsea soon asserted dominance, dictating proceedings over the two legs.

Lauren James broke the deadlock after intercepting a through ball, with her shot deflecting off an Ajax defender and finding the net. Despite initial offside concerns, the goal stood following a VAR review.

Although Guro Reiten’s effort was disallowed due to Nusken’s offside positioning, the German midfielder quickly made amends, converting Reiten’s cross for her maiden Champions League goal.

The second half saw a more cautious approach from Chelsea, but Nusken’s clinical finish from a Catarina Macario delivery further solidified Chelsea’s lead ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge on March 27th.

Awaiting the victors in the semi-finals are either Barcelona, conquerors of Chelsea in the 2021 final and 2023 semi-finals, or Braan.

While Chelsea have had patchy form in the Champions League this season, this performance will please manager Emma Hayes.

Ajax, buoyed by a record attendance of 35,997, briefly threatened through Romee Leuchter’s effort against the post. However, Chelsea’s attacking prowess soon silenced the home crowd.

James demonstrated composure to notch her first goal of the campaign, with VAR ultimately confirming its validity. Yet frustration followed as Reiten’s goal was annulled due to Nusken’s interference from an offside position.

However, Nusken quickly made an impact, capitalizing on Reiten’s precise cross to extend Chelsea’s lead.

Despite missed opportunities in the second half, Nusken’s clinical header sealed a comprehensive victory for Chelsea.

This resounding triumph provides Chelsea with a comfortable advantage in their quest for a quadruple, affording Hayes the luxury of potentially rotating players in the forthcoming fixtures.

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