Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said her squad is the best the Blues “have ever had” as her side maintained their perfect start in the Women’s Champions League by seeing off Real Madrid.
Second-half goals from Sophie Ingle and Erin Cuthbert helped the hosts ease to their win at Kingsmeadow.
Chelsea remain favourites to win Group A, and are now five points clear of second-placed Paris St-Germain.
“This team is on another level,” said Hayes.
“This is the best squad we’ve ever had. I think that learning from previous years and learning from losing in the final [against Barcelona in 2021] helped.”
Following a drab first half, the Blues took the lead through Sophie Ingle’s 67th-minute header after Millie Bright flicked on a corner.
Erin Cuthbert’s dipping cross sealed the points with 15 minutes left, catching out goalkeeper Misa Rodriguez.
Blues canter home at expectant Kingsmeadow
Chelsea, who returned to the top of the Women’s Super League on Sunday after beating Tottenham at Stamford Bridge, came into the match leading the group, two points ahead of unbeaten Real Madrid.
After a 1-0 win over Paris St-Germain and an 8-0 victory against Vllaznia in their two other Champions League matches, a bouncing Kingsmeadow crowd was expectant.
They came close through Fran Kirby’s early curling effort in an otherwise uneventful first half.
With 25 minutes to go there was a nervous energy at Kingsmeadow with Real Madrid growing into the game, but that was soon replaced with relief after Ingle’s opener.
And Chelsea nearly added a third through two Niamh Charles efforts at the death as they cantered to victory.
Hayes praised her side’s maturity, adding: “I think a couple of years ago we’d have got impatient, especially in the first half.
“It was a calm dressing room at half-time. When these two teams are so relatively matched, I’m starting to see the importance of our experience.
“We certainly play better European football, we’re becoming more accustomed to it.”
Real Madrid second-best in London
This was the first meeting between Chelsea and Real Madrid, but Las Blancas boast a fine record against English teams in the Champions League having knocked out Manchester City for the second consecutive season in August’s qualifiers.
The visitors came to west London having only lost once this campaign, against Barcelona in the Primera Division where they sit third in the table.
And though they struggled in the opening exchanges, last year’s quarter-finalists grew into the game as Esther Gonzalez saw a fierce shot blocked shortly after the restart.
But it was to be their only meaningful effort, with Chelsea the better side on Hayes’ first game back at Kingsmeadow since recovering from surgery.
- 14KirbySubstituted forFlemingat 56′minutes
- 19Rytting KanerydSubstituted forJamesat 56′minutesBooked at 69mins
- 11ReitenSubstituted forCarterat 79′minutes
Real Madrid Femenino
- 1Rodríguez Rivero
- 14Sousa Feitoza
- 7CarmonaSubstituted forGarcíaat 81′minutes
- 24OlofssonSubstituted forGálvezat 80′minutes
- 21ZornozaSubstituted forTolettiat 86′minutes
- 20FellerSubstituted forSvavaat 63′minutes
- 10GonzálezBooked at 57minsSubstituted forHansenat 86′minutes
- 22del Castillo
- Maria Ferrieri Caputi
Match ends, Chelsea Women 2, Real Madrid Femenino 0.
Second Half ends, Chelsea Women 2, Real Madrid Femenino 0.
Attempt blocked. Caroline Weir (Real Madrid Femenino) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Møller.
Caroline Weir (Real Madrid Femenino) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea Women).
Attempt missed. Niamh Charles (Chelsea Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lauren James.
Substitution, Real Madrid Femenino. Møller replaces Esther González.
Substitution, Real Madrid Femenino. Sandie Toletti replaces Claudia Zornoza.
Ivana Andrés (Real Madrid Femenino) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sophie Ingle (Chelsea Women).
Corner, Chelsea Women. Conceded by Rocío Gálvez.
Attempt blocked. Niamh Charles (Chelsea Women) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lauren James with a cross.
Substitution, Real Madrid Femenino. Nahikari García replaces Olga Carmona.
Substitution, Real Madrid Femenino. Rocío Gálvez replaces Freja Olofsson.
Foul by Olga Carmona (Real Madrid Femenino).
Jess Carter (Chelsea Women) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Chelsea Women. Jess Carter replaces Guro Reiten.
Attempt missed. Sam Kerr (Chelsea Women) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Erin Cuthbert with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Chelsea Women. Conceded by Kenti Robles.
Goal! Chelsea Women 2, Real Madrid Femenino 0. Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea Women) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right to the top left corner. Assisted by Niamh Charles.