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Emma Hayes insists Chelsea have learned from Champions League heartache

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Emma Hayes has vowed that Chelsea have learnt the lessons from last year’s Champions League group stage elimination ahead of their final group fixture against PSG on Thursday.


The Blues have already ensured their safe passage through to the quarter-finals with a game to spare, but can top the group should they avoid defeat on Thursday evening. Even a 1-0 loss to second place PSG would see Chelsea through as group winners via virtue of goal difference.

Hayes’s side went into their final group fixture last season knowing that a draw or narrow defeat against Wolfsburg would be enough to see them through to the knockout stages.

However, they lost 4-0 and crashed out of the competition – and Hayes insists that her side will not go into Thursday evening’s clash with PSG with a mentality of simply wanting to avoid defeat.

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“We play to win every game, that’s what we learn over the years,” the Chelsea manager said. “I think last year was such a learning curve for the team. When you’re going into a game where you say ‘oh, as long as we don’t lose by a certain number [of goals]’ – [that’s a] catastrophic headspace, one I wouldn’t entertain at all.

“I think training’s been hard, and it’s been hard for many reasons because if the team aspires for the biggest things, then it has to train with that application. I’ve certainly stimulated different overloads this week with that in mind. I expect that my team has the right approach, and I’d be disappointed if it was otherwise.”

PSG are also ensured of their place in the quarter finals, with their 2-1 victory over Real Madrid last time out seeing them through at the Spanish outfit’s expense.

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