England and Chelsea player Fran Kirby became the West London club’s all time record goal scorer following an impressive 5-0 win over Portuguese side Benfica in the Women’s Champions League Last 32 first leg.
The occasion also proved to be a landmark for Chelsea’s Swedish International defender Magdalena Eriksson, who made her 100thappearance for the Women Super League Champions.
Indeed, after a season away from Europe’s elite competition the West London side were certainly keen to make up for lost time and were ahead inside 80 seconds thanks to Kirby’s landmark goal.
Kirby was able to turn in a low cross-delivered by the club’s record signing and Danish International Pernille Harder. This ensured that Kirby would take her goal tally for the club to 69 and surpassed the previous record she shared with Eniola Aluko.
The Blues soon doubled their advantage through a powerful header from Millie Bright who turned in a Guro Reiten free kick.
The new record goal scorer, Kirby then added a third, calmly slotting the ball past the Benfica keeper Vilao. This in turn took the 27-year-old’s record tally for the Blues to 70.
Reiten subsequently completed her hat trick of assists just before half-time, setting up Harder with another impressive set piece delivery.
The impressive Beth England added a fifth shortly after half time with a clinical left footed finish, which remarkably marked England’s first goal in the Champions League.
Following the game the Blues new all time record scorer Kirby said:
“I’m really happy and to overtake someone like Eni Aluko is really special.
“She’s a special person to me and I think it means a lot more because I know what a good person she is and what a great player she was for this club so I’m really proud.”
When asked about what some of her favourite goals for the club are, Kirby said:
“I scored a good one against Liverpool at Staines. I chopped it a few times and managed to find the corner so that one always sticks out for me because you are always able to remember those goals when you are able to do a little bit of skill.
“The one away to Bayern Munich, I will never forget that goal. I think we was defending for 90 minutes of that game so to be able to get that goal was really special.“
Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes, meanwhile, said:
“Once we settled into the game we produced a good performance in the first half, we got the fifth goal in the second half and then I made some changes and I thought that disrupted the rhythm a little bit.”
When asked about Kirby becoming the Club’s record scorer, Hayes added:
“She knows what I think about her and she knows with the performances she keeps putting in that the awards will come for her whatever they are.”
Elsewhere in the Women’s Champions League Last 32 first leg ties, meanwhile, Manchester City were able to come back to win 2-1 against Swedish side Goteborg thanks to goals from Georgia Stanway and American International Sam Mewis. There was disappointment, however, for the other British side in the competition, Glasgow City who ended up losing 2-1 away at Sparta Prague.
The second leg ties are set to take place next week, with the Blues hosting Benfica at Kingsmedow on Wednesday. They will, however, be in action before then in the WSL when they travel to face Brighton & Hove Albion.
Manchester City, meanwhile, have their return leg on Wednesday afternoon but have a tricky game in the WSL to negotiate at the weekend as they host title rivals Arsenal.