Chelsea had been minutes away from successful the WSL title once more on Sunday however have been proper to not rejoice prematurely as Manchester United ensured a rollercoaster race on the high will go right down to the ultimate weekend.
An impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal meant Chelsea had one hand on the trophy and would have been champions had United did not beat Manchester Metropolis afterward.
Chelsea regarded set to win the league for a fourth successive 12 months with United and Metropolis drawing 1-1 in stoppage time, however drama struck and Lucia Garcia’s dizzying winner halted the get together.
It’s nonetheless in Chelsea’s palms although. Equalling United’s end result on Saturday will assure their crown and wrap up an exhausting and pulsating title race.
It has been a wild experience thus far so it’s no marvel Chelsea supervisor Emma Hayes mentioned this could be her favorite title ought to they win it.
However it’s not simply the soccer journey that makes Hayes admire it extra – it’s what it’s taking to achieve the top.
Hayes, mom to five-year-old son Harry, missed six weeks between October and November following an emergency hysterectomy as a part of her “ongoing battle with endometriosis”.
Normal supervisor Paul Inexperienced and assistant Denise Reddy took cost of the crew in Hayes’ absence.
“We have to breathe, be human beings and never simply soccer managers and gamers on a regular basis – we have to be individuals proper?” mentioned Hayes.
“Perhaps that is why it is my favorite 12 months. My very own private well being points, that was laborious. To come back straight again into work off the again of a hysterectomy…belief me, I do know now I’ve had one.
“However to do it realizing I’ve belief within the competency and the experience round to have the ability to ship – I belief these individuals with my life and vice versa.
“I do know on any given day that everyone can ship excessive ranges as a result of the tradition has been set. I am so grateful to my workers, I might be lifeless within the water with out them.”
‘Life is simply as vital as soccer’
Successful takes sacrifices. Hayes is aware of that. She has received 5 WSL titles with Chelsea and 13 main trophies in complete since becoming a member of the membership in 2012.
“You possibly can’t be an elite performer and have a work-life stability,” Hayes admits.
Being a mom has modified her outlook on life. Work is not her precedence; her son is.
Household time with Harry is treasured. She encourages her gamers to spend time with their households too and provides them day off when she will, believing it is vital to assist them reset between matches.
“Harry turned 5 this week and all I hold considering is I am unable to let this time go earlier than it is too late, I must put priorities for him first,” mentioned Hayes.
“He is actually modified that in me. We’ve got devoted a whole lot of hundreds of hours into our career – which is so anti-social – so after we get the chance, it’s important to simply put crucial issues first.
“There’s been a number of issues occurring in my life, past Harry. My dad hasn’t been properly, and so I believe life is simply as vital as soccer. I am prioritising life in the present day.”
Ice cream and bike rides over Manchester derby
Whereas her gamers have been wanting ahead to watching the Manchester derby on Sunday, Hayes mentioned it was not even an choice for her.
She had taken Harry into work along with her on Saturday and promised him an ice cream and a motorcycle experience after their victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
“I’ve had midweek video games on Wednesday nights, so you’ll be able to think about what I am like within the mornings,” added Hayes.
“I’ve had a recreation each weekend so the sample has been the identical. He hasn’t seen me and he is needed to come to work with me when he does not wish to come.
“The one method I bought him by this weekend was the promise of ice cream and bike rides. My son is crucial factor in my life and he comes first.”