Chelsea coach Emma Hayes said signing world record Pernille Harder had taken the club “to the next level” since joining in September 2020.
Harder scored for the second straight game of the Women’s Champions League as her goal helped Chelsea beat Juventus 2-1 in Turin on Wednesday night.
The 28-year-old joined Chelsea from Wolfsburg on a three-year contract for a record amount for a footballer.
Harder scored nine times in 22 league appearances in her debut season as Chelsea won the Women’s Super League title and added eight more Champions League goals as Hayes’ side finished second in the competition.
Having started the season with six goals in seven games in those competitions this season, Hayes is full of praise for Harder following Wednesday’s victory.
“She [Harder] had an outstanding performance, “said Hayes.” I’ve said it before – she came to the club and to a tough country, joining a team that is already amazing and she has taken us to an even higher level.
“His standards, day in and day out, should be what every young person should meet.
“She takes responsibility, she is responsible, she is there when it counts and she is a key player for this team.
“I am so delighted that she is part of our team.”
Speaking after the game, Harder said: “This is what every Champions League night should be like. I don’t know how many people there were, but there were [the stadium] felt full. It’s an incredible stadium, a big pitch and screaming supporters.
“I wish there were Chelsea fans, but this time it was Juventus fans. But it was amazing.”
Chelsea, who are second in the WSL with four out of five wins, are back in action on October 31 when they face Man City in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Prior to that, Harder will join the Danish national team for their Women’s World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro on October 21-26.
Chapman: well-deserved victory for Chelsea
Former Chelsea midfielder Katie Chapman on Sky Sports News:
“They really needed to win. I think Juventus made it very difficult for them. In the end they created chances, they pushed forward and they really put Chelsea under pressure.
“I think they prepared very well defensively tonight and made it very difficult for Chelsea. All the possession Chelsea had, they didn’t create a lot of chances.
“There’s no one better in Europe than Harder. She’s the one who scores the winning goals, it’s that quality of a player.”