Chelsea Women vs. Paris FC, UWCL preview: shifting gears once again

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 18: Emma Hayes, Manager of Chelsea, looks on at full-time following the Barclays Women’s Super League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on November 18, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

There is only one place in England where you can watch the UEFA Women’s Champions League. It isn’t north London, I can tell you that. European nights at Stamford Bridge are back. While the men’s team attempts to get back into Europe, Chelsea Women have its eyes set on securing the only trophy that has alluded Emma Hayes since her arrival in 2012.

With a controversial draw in the rearview mirror, the west London outfit welcome one of the darlings of this tournament, Paris FC to the English capital. No, for all you men’s football fans, it’s not Paris Saint-Germain. Paris has not looked frightened whatsoever by the obstacles that have stood in its way. En route to the group stage, the French side miraculously eliminated both Arsenal and the 2023 runners-up Wolfsburg. That has earned the club the nickname, “The Giant Slayers”.

Paris is that first team you would root for when your club goes out. It’s the story nobody saw happening but everyone wants to see continue. At some point this dreamlike rise has to include a regression. In the first match week of the group stages, the French outfit received what has to be called, “a wake-up call”.

Despite being much more threatening in the final third, Sandrine Soubeyrand’s team fell one goal short at home against BK Hacken to open up its group stage campaign. It was not just Paris’ inability to finish in front of goal. Hacken’s Swedish international goalkeeper Jennifer Falk was at the top of her game last Wednesday. Zecira Musovic’s back-up in the 2023 Women’s World Cup totaled six saves including a stunning stop on the eventual goal scorer from the spot, Julie Dufour.

Paris FC get one back as Julie Dufour handles business from the spot 💼

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🎙️ 👉 🇫🇷 🎙️ 👉 🇸🇪 🎙️ 👉 #UWCLonDAZN

— DAZN Football (@DAZNFootball) November 15, 2023