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    Eidevall to take momentum from Arsenal’s North London derby win into a tough battle with Ajax

    JONAS EIDEVALL is under no illusion about the hard task awaiting Arsenal in their battle with Ajax for a Champions League group stage spot.The Gunners are targeting an away win against their opponents who frustrated the WSL leaders by clinching a Round Two first-leg draw.
    A win for Arsenal against Ajax will see them join Chelsea in the Champions League group stageCredit: Getty
    Arsenal go into the game, which kicks off at 6:00 pm tonight, off the back of a 4-0 win against Tottenham watched by a record WSL crowd of 47,367 at the Emirates.
    And they will play in front of a record crowd at the De Toekomst Stadium home of their rivals this evening.
    Victory over Ajax will see the Gunners play their Champions League group stage games at the Emirates.
    Arsenal head coach Eidevall, 39, who has a fully fit squad for the game, said: “Of course, we want to play in the group stage and we want to go as far as possible.
    “This is the game we need to win in order to get there.
    “In the Champions League it’s about playing against the best. It’s about being challenged.
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    “And it’s nice the club want to play at the best stadium – the Emirates. We will do our very best in order to go through.
    “We can take a lot of energy and positive momentum from our win against Tottenham.”
    On whether Ajax will be buoyed by the draw by their impressive display last time out, Eidevall added: “I thought they played with a lot of confidence last week.
    “I’m under no illusion that this game will be anything else.
    “It will be a hard game. Away matches in Europe are tough when we’re playing a good team like Ajax.
    “We will need to defend well, attack well and be good at set pieces and in transition.
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    “It’s up to us to be the best that we can possibly be. I believe we can go through.”
    Having reached the contest’s quarter-final stage last term before being knocked out by Wolfsburg Eidevall’s side hope to progress further this season.
    And the club remains the only English side to have won the Women’s Champions League with their 2007 triumph.
    Since then, the contest has been dominated by Europe’s other giants with French side Lyon having won the tournament eight times, including their 3-1 triumph over Barcelona in May.
    Chelsea became the first English side to reach the final in 14 years when they took on Catalan giants Barca in May last year.
    The overall winner of this term’s Champions League is set to receive £301,000 in prize money with the runners-up awarded £172,000.
    Jonas Eidevall is confident Arsenal will be able to defeat Ajax away from homeCredit: Getty
    Match victories for teams in the group stage is thought to earn sides £43,000.
    On whether he feels constant pressure on Arsenal from a financial perspective, Eidevall added: “I don’t spend much time thinking about other things and I don’t think I should do either.
    “I went into this game preparing to get the best possibilities to win and I don’t think about anything else.” More

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    England boss Wiegman says ‘door is still open’ for Steph Houghton and recalls Fran Kirby and Chloe Kelly

    SARINA WIEGMAN says the “door is still open” for Steph Houghton with players vying for England spots before next summer’s World Cup.The Lionesses chief had “hard choices” to make with three Euros winners left out of her group before a sell-out Wembley clash with the USA.
    Sarina Wiegman intends to meet with Steph Houghton at the end of October to see “where things are at”Credit: Getty
    Fran Kirby is back in the Lionesses squad after a making comeback from injuryCredit: Getty
    Chloe Kelly has also been recalled for England duty ahead of the team’s games against the USA and the Czech Republic in OctoberCredit: Getty
    Wiegman was speaking after Houghton, 34, shared her thoughts on being dropped from the squad that went on to become European Champions in July.
    The England head coach, 52, said: “I’ve had a conversation with her again and I don’t think she’s quite ready.
    “We wanted to bring in some young players but it’s ten months still to go until the World Cup.

    “The door is still open, and I will meet her again at the end of October and see where we’re at, at that moment.”
    Chelsea and Manchester City stars, Fran Kirby, 29, and Chloe Kelly, 24, are back in the 24-strong squad following their return to WSL action from injury.
    Esme Morgan is back for the first time since a call-up last September, with the Man City defender missing England’s camp that month due to a shin injury.
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    But Jordan Nobbs, 29, and Euros-winning trio Beth England, 28, Nikita Parris, 28, and Lotte-Wubben Moy, 23, have been left out ahead of a tough test against the USA.
    Wiegman added: “Picking players is all about performance and what we see is there is a big competition and the depth in the squad is really good. 
    “It’s hard to make choices so I had conversations with all the players who were in the squad before, but are not now.
    “I gave them some feedback and now they have to work and try to fight their way back in.
    “Of course, we’ll keep following them because they are very good players.
    “It’s not just that we’ll follow 22 or 24 players, we’ll follow a big group of players and pick the best ones.”
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    England – currently ranked the fourth-best side in the world – take on four-time World Cup winners the United States at Wembley on Friday 7 October.
    They will then play the Czech Republic at the Amex four days later.
    The team are currently unbeaten under Wiegman having gone 20 games without a loss across all competitions winning 18 matches and drawing twice.
    The last clash between the USA and England saw the Lionesses, then managed by Phil Neville, beaten 2-0 at the SheBelieves Cup in March 2020.
    On if her players have anything to fear from their US opponents, Wiegman added: “With the development of the team, we have shown courage and really played with that to win and not to prevent mistakes.
    Lucy Parker has received her first senior call-up for Lionesses dutyCredit: Getty
    “We want to do that all the time and that is what we tell the players too.
    “Germany and Spain were big opponents too so we will approach it the same way – play to win, accept mistakes and hopefully play our style on the pitch.”
    Ahead of the October games, Wiegman has given a first-time senior call-up to defender Lucy Parker, 23, who has impressed for Paul Konchesky’s West Ham.
    Jess Park, 20, was also named in England’s senior squad after winning praise for her Everton performances following a loan move from Man City.
    Jess Park has been named in the 24-strong Lionesses squad after impressing on loan at Everton from Man CityCredit: Getty
    Wiegman added: “Lucy Parker is very athletic. She has had some injuries but has had good preparation and good games.
    “It will be good to see what they can do compared to some more experienced players.
    “It’s ten months until the World Cup starts, it’s also an opportunity to bring through some young players to see where they are at.”
    England Women’s Squad
    Mary Earps (Manchester United), Sandy MacIver (Manchester City), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)
    Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lucy Parker (West Ham United), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal)
    Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jessica Park (Everton, loan from Manchester City), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)
    Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Ebony Salmon (Houston Dash). More

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    Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz leaps to footballer girlfriend’s defence and fumes at journalist’s ‘disrespectful’ post

    DOUGLAS LUIZ has leapt to the defence of his girlfriend after a “disrespectful” post was made towards her. Luiz, 24, is dating Aston Villa women’s star Alisha Lehmann and took issue with a remark her.
    Douglas Luiz leapt to the defence of his footballer girlfriend on social mediaCredit: PA
    Luiz has been dating Alisha Lehmann since last November
    Luiz took offence when a journalist made a “disrespectful” post regarding one of Lehmann’s celebrationsCredit: Twitter
    The post in question saw Lehmann celebrate a goal with Brazilian journalist Milton Neves saying: “Without returning to the video, what number was on her shirt?”
    Brazil star Luiz then replied to this on his Twitter, saying: “You are old, (with) years in football and post a video that doesn’t respect women’s football nor the player who, in this case, is my girlfriend. 
    “You never learned what respect is! Damn!”
    The post which Luiz replied to has since been deleted.
    Luiz has started just twice for Steven Gerrard’s side this season.
    However, following an injury to Boubacar Kamara, he is set to get an extended run in the team which should last until at least the World Cup.
    He was the subject of interest from Arsenal on transfer deadline day, but with no time to replace him Villa demanded a fee far beyond what the Gunners were willing to pay.
    Luiz is out of contract next summer, and Arsenal may renew their interest in January but may also be joined by the likes of Liverpool.
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    Lehmann on the other hand has enjoyed a fruitful start since the return of the Woman’s Super League.
    The forward has scored and assisted a goal a piece, with both coming in Aston Villa’s 4-3 win over Manchester City.
    Luiz and Lehmann confirmed they were dating last November after the pair uploaded a snap on social media.
    The pair spent their off-seasons on separate holidays, with Lehmann taking in Miami and Luiz returning to his native Brazil.
    Lehmann in action for Aston VillaCredit: Getty More

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    Chambers blasts officiating decision after Reading see a goal disallowed during their WSL clash with Brighton

    KELLY CHAMBERS hit out at officiating levels in the women’s top-flight after Reading saw a goal chalked off against Brighton.The Royals boss shared her thoughts after her side fell to a 2-0 loss to Albion and saw Deanna Cooper’s first-half header flagged as offside.
    Kelly Chambers says Deanna Cooper was “three yards onside” when she scored a goal later disallowedCredit: Getty
    Cooper and her team-mates fell to their second loss in a row following their season-opening defeat away at Manchester UnitedCredit: Rex
    Reading shared a video replay via their official Twitter page showing the build-up to Cooper’s headed effort.
    Goals from Lee Geum-min and Katie Robinson, saw Albion seal their first win of the season with the Royals notching a second successive defeat. 
    Reading boss Chambers, 36, told the club’s website: “We watched our goal back, Cooper is three yards onside.
    “It’s something we worked on in training it’s worked and then to have it taken away from us it’s not good enough.
    “Unfortunately, we’re now looking at another loss, and if this (officiating) is not addressed, it’s going to start costing managers jobs.
    “We have the highest level of women’s football, yet the level of the officials are not good enough, nowhere near good enough.

    “Regardless, we created more than enough chances to win, and I said that to the girls.
    “But the moment the offside happened, it created a different game.
     “That’s the most frustrating thing, no consequence can come off the officials, but a manager’s career hangs in the balance.
    “If the decision was marginal, I could perhaps come to accept it, but in this instance, we’re talking about a good few yards.
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    “I raised this point last weekend, and if it carries on, managers will begin to get sacked.”
    Elsewhere Paul Konchesky criticised a decision that saw a West Ham goal disallowed during his side’s clash with Manchester United.
    The Irons fell to a 2-0 defeat at home after second-half strikes from Lucia Garcia and Hannah Blundell.
    Lucy Parker netted for the Irons during the game after the ball took a deflection.
    West Ham take on Chelsea away at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday following their loss to Man UnitedCredit: Getty
    But the West Ham defender’s effort was disallowed by referee Emily Heaslip.
    Irons chief Konchesky, 41, told reporters: “Me, and my staff have obviously looked back and seen it, and we think the goal should count.
    “But listen they make the decisions, and it wasn’t to be.” More

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    Eidevall hails ‘fearless’ Arsenal with Mead and Miedema among the scorers watched by a WSL record-breaking crowd

    JONAS EIDEVALL saluted Arsenal’s fearlessness after their derby day trouncing of Tottenham in front of a record-breaking WSL crowd at the Emirates.More than 47,000 fans watched the Gunners pummel Spurs 4-0 with Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead netting on Saturday afternoon.
    Beth Mead netted Arsenal’s opener at the Emirates and was applauded by the crowd later in the gameCredit: Getty
    Vivianne Miedema scored twice for Arsenal who have kept eight successive clean sheets in the leagueCredit: Getty
    Katie McCabe made her 100th league appearance for Arsenal and her 158th in all competitions.
    The Ireland captain holds the record with Mead for the most appearances.
    Not since Boxing Day in 1920, when Dick, Kerr Ladies took on St Helen’s Ladies has a women’s club football game in England pulled in a crowd of more than 50,000.
    The Gunners – who had sold 53,000 tickets – came close to reaching the 50,000 mark with 47,367 present at their derby battle yesterday.
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    This was the highest number of fans at a match between two top-tier women’s sides in the country since Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat of Manchester City in May recorded a 49,094 attendance.
    Yesterday’s game at the Emirates saw Arsenal surpass the WSL match attendance record set in November 2019.
    Back then 38,262 fans watched Spurs play Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
    On the record being broken, Gunners’ boss Eidevall said: “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I don’t think we should compare attendance figures in terms of tickets given away and tickets sold.
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    “I don’t think it’s fair when you’re doing that comparison.
    “This game is the best advertisement there can be for people coming.
    “This is what it’s about – for people to come here and to feel proud of the team and the players, and wanting to come here to support
    “We really felt that with the supporters who came and we really hope that many of them come back and bring a friend so we get a sell-out.”
    Kelly Simmons, the FA’s women’s professional game director said: “The atmosphere at The Emirates was absolutely incredible.
    “Seeing 47,367 fans in the stadium shows just how much the women’s game has grown.
    “I hope this momentum can continue throughout the whole campaign.”
    The result for Arsenal was the perfect antidote to their midweek 2-2 draw with Ajax in the Champions League.
    The Dutch side snatched a late Round 2 first-leg equaliser at Meadow Park.
    Eidevall, whose team play Ajax in the return leg on Wednesday, added: “For us, it’s really important that we give 100 per cent when we play. We shouldn’t have any other gear.
    “With our positioning we made Spurs look less aggressive in their press.
    “They are a very good team, but we didn’t concede one single goalscoring opportunity against them.
    “After the Ajax game, I told the players we played poor defence that night.
    Jonas Eidevall’s team are top of the table after two wins and take on Ajax next in the Champions LeagueCredit: Getty
    “I said there is no team sport where you can play poor defence and expect to win
    “But here we played great in defence, and we now have eight clean sheets in a row in the WSL.
    “This is very, very impressive and a big testament to the players.
    “The fearlessness that the players did it with, I was so impressed with that.
    The Gunners took just five minutes to get off the mark as they looked to hem the visitors into their own half.
    Beth Mead opened the scoring by latching onto a threaded pass before curling in the opener beyond Rebecca Spencer.
    The hosts looked to make it 2-0 with Katie McCabe firing an effort over the bar before Spurs began to settle a little and made one of a few forays forward.
    Manuela Zinsberger made a comfortable stop from Celin Bizet Ildhusoy’s attempt in the 38th minute.
    Arsenal doubled their lead moments close to half time with Miedema scoring her first league goal of the season.
    They went three up with Rafaelle’s towering 54th-minute header before Miedema’s second goal 15 minutes later.
    The contest became a little tetchy with Caitlin Foord cautioned for a challenge before Tottenham’s Ashleigh Neville and Amy Turner were booked.
    Spurs boss Rehanne Skinner hopes her side will take some lessons from the result ahead in their Conti Cup duel with Reading.
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    Skinner said: “I don’t think we did it ourselves justice, so that’s disappointing for everybody involved.
    “But it’s definitely something that we need to take the lessons from and improve on for the game next week.”
    Caitlin Foord was among the standout performers for Arsenal against TottenhamCredit: Getty
    Rehanne Skinner is targeting a win for Tottenham against Reading in the Conti CupCredit: Getty More

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    Alex Scott reveals she ‘briefly turned to drink’ as ex-England star and BBC presenter ‘drowned out’ racism and trolling

    ALEX SCOTT has revealed the torment she went through after being racially abused and trolled online.The former Arsenal and England star, 37, has carved out an incredibly successful career as a broadcaster, presenting events such as Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
    Scott has opened up about the impact racism and trolling has had on herCredit: PA
    Scott has also taken over from Dan Walker as the host of Football Focus.
    But her success has coincided with sickening racial abuse as trolls have singled her out on social media.
    And Scott admits it has had a major impact, leading to her “briefly turning to drink” after the Olympics last year.
    Speaking to The Times, she said: “I can slip into dark places. And once I slip into dark places, I don’t stop.
    “I loved being out at the Olympics, but afterwards I realised the mad pressure that I’d put on myself to take everything – the trolling, the racism, Lord Digby Jones.”
    The reference to Jones relates to a tweet he sent accusing her of negatively impacting BBC’s Olympic coverage with her East End accent.
    He said: “Enough! I can’t stand it any more! Alex Scott spoils a good presentational job on the BBC Olympics Team with her very noticeable inability to pronounce her ‘g’s at the end of a word.
    “Competitors are NOT taking part, Alex, in the fencin, rowin, boxin, kayakin, weightliftin & swimmin.”
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    The criticism understandably affected Scott, who was even forced to deal with death threats.
    She continued: “That was at a level that I was scared for my life. I was scared to leave my house to even go to the shop.
    “That’s the stage that we’d got to – that, oh my gosh, someone black might be replacing a national treasure could cause such hatred.”
    Scott is preparing to release her memoir “How (Not) to Be Strong” in which she discusses the harrowing abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her father.
    Scott’s dad frequently beat her mother, scenes the ex-footballer recounts in frightening detail.
    “I felt helpless,” she said. “All I could do was lie there and pray my mum would be alive in the morning.”
    Yet Scott, who has not spoken to her dad since he text her asking for Strictly Come Dancing tickets in 2019, admirably insists she did not write the book to punish him.
    She said: “I didn’t write this book to shame my dad – actually, I’ve forgiven my dad.

    “I take lessons from what’s happened to me. I wouldn’t be the person I am without all this.
    “At football, you don’t show emotion. You’re tough; you get on with things. You don’t talk about stuff. You roll your socks up and do your best.”
    How you can get helpWomen’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

    Always keep your phone nearby.
    Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
    If you are in danger, call 999.
    Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
    Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
    If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
    Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

    If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis –
    Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
    You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. More

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    Big crowds ‘should be the standard going forward’, says Arsenal’s Katie McCabe ahead of WSL record-breaking duel

    KATIE MCCABE says Arsenal are ready for a physical battle with Tottenham in front of the biggest crowd to date in WSL history.More than 51,000 fans are expected at the Emirates today – a number that will smash the league’s previous match attendance record.
    Katie McCabe is relishing the prospect of playing in front of a record-breaking WSL crowdCredit: Getty
    Arsenal are yet to lose a game to Tottenham in the Women’s Super LeagueCredit: Getty
    In November 2019, 38,262 fans watched the teams in action at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
    Back then the Gunners defeated their opponents 2-0.
    Arsenal are yet to be beaten by their neighbours in the top-flight since Spurs’ 2019 promotion to the WSL.
    The last match between the sides saw Jonas Eidevall’s team clinch a 3-0 win with five players booked during the feisty encounter in May.
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    And last November Spurs shared the spoils of a 1-1 draw at home.
    Reflecting on that encounter McCabe, 26, said: “It was a tough game away from home for us.
    “We’d done well to get the equaliser and kept playing.
    “But they looked to frustrate us and to be physical and that’s what a derby game is all about.
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    “But it’s up to us to control our mentality and let the ball do the work.
    “We’ll be ready for any physicality that will be thrown at us.
    “But ultimately, it’s about playing football and playing our way which is the Arsenal way.
    “We’ve seen Spurs investing in their women’s team over the last few years.
    “They’ve done a great job of that and with that, you get more quality within the games.”
    On the ticket sold for today’s derby which kicks off at 1:30 pm, McCabe added: “I think the club have done a terrific job of tapping into that (crowd) momentum from the Euros.
    “Fifty-one thousand tickets sold is unbelievable.
    “That’s off the back end of a fantastic Euros and the Lionesses getting the win there.”
    The last time a women’s club game in England attracted a crowd of more than 50,000, was on Boxing Day in 1920.
    Back then Dick, Kerr Ladies took on St Helen Ladies at Goodison Park, in front of a crowd of 53,000.
    A year later, a ban on women playing football on FA-affiliated pitches was introduced which lasted for 70 years until 1971.
    McCabe added: “There’s an obvious frustration there that we’ve been held back for so long but we can’t dwell too much on the past as we need to charge forward.
    “The drive from all the clubs in the WSL is fantastic and we need to take that momentum from the Euros and let this not just be a one-off.
    “I was part of the game with the first WSL record crowd back in 2019 and that was such a special day. This should be the standard going forward.”
    Jonas Eidevall is keen on seeing more WSL games played in larger stadiumsCredit: Getty
    Gunners boss Eidevall said: “More than fifty thousand sold tickets is really special because that means doing in a way that is sustainable,
    “The investment that the club has put in and the (efforts) that past teams before have (put in) to help us get to this stage here is phenomenal.”
    McCabe, who skippered the Republic of Ireland to a historic World Cup play-off spot this month, is a highly regarded player amongst Arsenal fans.
    And the versatile wing-back counts Alex Hleb amongst the Gunners heroes of the past she enjoyed watching.
    The WSL ace added: “I loved his doggedness. I loved how he carried himself on the pitch and his presence.
    “He was one of those players that didn’t play every single game, but I really enjoyed watching him.”
    Rehanne Skinner’s Spurs will be looking to cause an upset having picked up a win against Leicester last Sunday.
    And the Tottenham boss says her players are relishing the prospect of playing in front of a record crowd.
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    Skinner, 42, said: “It’s an opportunity to play in front of a volume of fans that some of the players have not done before.
    “It’s something they have been looking forward to. It’s the route we all want to go down.” 
    Rehanne Skinner’s side are targeting a first win against Arsenal in the top tierCredit: Rex More

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    “Emma is already on me about how I can improve. I’m not in my comfort zone”, says Chelsea ace Buchanan

    KADEISHA BUCHANAN is relishing being pushed “to the max” by Emma Hayes following her June switch to Chelsea from Lyon.And the Blues centre-back says watching Premier League action was part and parcel of family life for herself and her 11 siblings.
    Kadeisha Buchanan says her Chelsea move came at the right stage of her careerCredit: Getty
    Buchanan, 26, was speaking to reporters before the WSL champions’ first duel of the season with Manchester City.
    The title rivals fell to unexpected losses to Liverpool and Aston Villa during enthralling season-openers away last Sunday.
    And Buchanan – who helped her former club to six top-flight title wins in France – reckons the competitive edge of England’s top tier was among the factors that influenced her move.
    The Chelsea star said: “You can’t take a team for granted.
    “You can’t just be relaxed and complacent, so you have to work hard every game, every day.
    “You have to earn it, every single game, it’s not going to be given to you and that’s why it’s so competitive. I love that about the WSL.
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    On how Blues chief Hayes influenced her decision to move to the club, Buchanan added: “It was the perfect moment.
    “It was definitely a mutual agreement. I felt it was the right time
    “The conversation was like ‘welcome, but I’m going to push you to the max.’
    “Emma is already on to me about how I can improve and the ways I can. 
    “I love that in a coach – when whatever is needed – they will say it and they are not afraid to do so.
    “I’m definitely not in my comfort zone here. I feel like every day I’m learning something new.
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    “It’s just the little details now that they’re bringing out.
    “They really watch the training every day here and there is a lot of staff to help with our games, so that’s a big part.
    Buchanan, who has made 123 senior international appearances for Canada, says football is part of family life for herself and her relatives.
    Her father, who like her mother was born in Jamaica, is an avid Prem follower.
    The defender, who helped Canada to a Tokyo Olympics gold medal win last August said: “Football isn’t as big a sport (in Canada).
    The Blues centre-back is enjoying the competitive edge of the WSLCredit: Getty
    “But having a Jamaican father who loves the English Premier League, we would all wake up at 7:00 am to watch the games there.
    “My dad supports Manchester United, but I’m an all-rounder fan. I just love to watch football.
    When asked whether her family enjoyed playing the game as well as watching, Buchanan added: “Out of 11 siblings I think about four or five of us played.
    “My older brother played, my father played, and my mum also played later on when she got into it,
    “Taking us to soccer every day she was like ‘ah, let me get in there too’, so she started playing.
    Buchanan is targeting a Champions League trophy win with the Blues having won the contest five times with LyonCredit: Getty
    “We’re a football family and a very athletic one, a couple of my sisters did track, and basketball. We’re an all-round sporting family.”
    Buchanan, who began her senior playing career in 2005, made her move to Europe in 2017 joining Lyon.
    The defender’s five-year spell at the club saw her help the French side lift five of the eight Champions League trophies they have won between 2010 and this year.
    Claiming the prize for top clubs in Europe is among the targets for Chelsea with the team having won six WSL titles since 2015.
    Buchanan believes Chelsea are “not far off” from achieving their goal of winning the Champions LeagueCredit: Getty
    And Buchanan believes the Blues, who fell to a narrow Champions League semis defeat to Lyon in 2019, have what it takes to triumph in the competition.
    The Canada centre-back added: “We are not far off.
    “When I see Chelsea play and when they’re at their best, they’re the best team. It’s just about getting that consistency.” More