Kirby scores hat-trick as Chelsea cruise into Champions League quarter-finals


Fran Kirby’s treble took her goals tally to 10 for the season in all competitions for club and country

Fran Kirby scored a hat-trick as Chelsea powered through to the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals with a huge victory over Fiorentina in Italy.

Leading 1-0 after 17 October’s first leg in London, the Blues hit six in Florence to secure a 7-0 aggregate win.

Drew Spence’s curler opened the scoring and Kirby tucked in before half-time.

Kirby scored a penalty, Erin Cuthbert slid in the fourth and Kirby raced clear to complete her treble, before substitute Ramona Bachmann made it six.

The English league champions finished the tie with 10 players as defender Millie Bright was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity with 16 minutes to play, but it was too late for the hosts to hit back.

The convincing result saw Chelsea reach the last eight in Europe for a second time, as they compete in the Champions League for a fourth consecutive campaign.

Emma Hayes’ side were far more clinical on Wednesday than during the first leg, when they had also dominated but were frustrated by a fine goalkeeping display from Swedish stopper Stephanie Ohrstrom at Kingsmeadow.

Fiorentina, who are fourth in the Women’s Serie A and four points behind the leaders AC Milan with a game in hand, went close in the second half but were unable to beat Hedvig Lindahl.

Chelsea’s progression was never in doubt after two assists from Karen Carney – who was subject to rape and death threats on social media after the first leg – helped them claim an early two-goal lead on the night, and they could have added to the tally, but were denied by the woodwork on three occasions.

The Blues are England’s last remaining side in the tournament, following Manchester City’s last-32 exit at the hands of Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

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