Hayes relished his ‘favorite victory’ as Chelsea boss at the Szusza Ferenc Stadion in Budapest after suffering disappointment in the tournament’s round of 16 in recent seasons.
After scoring Chelsea’s second goal in their 2-1 home win at the same venue last week, Pernille Harder scored again against his former club by converting a 27th-minute penalty won by Sam Kerr.
Kerr then added another ‘away’ goal five minutes later with a firm strike, and Fran Kirby then completed a fine team performance by scoring the third with nine minutes remaining as Chelsea secured their third. appearance in the last four.
Hayes had already seen his team knocked out of the competition by Wolfsburg – two-time winners and finalists for the third time last season – in three consecutive seasons from 2015 to 2016.
The 44-year-old, who took the reins at Chelsea in 2012, said: “I think this is probably my favorite win in charge as I challenged the squad around maturity, learning, of progression.
“This is how you show your manager how we are growing in Europe.
“I have faced this opponent so many times and I felt humiliated and lost, and I always thought he was the benchmark in women’s football alongside Lyon.
“So it’s a really, really proud day for English football – I think it’s important that we recognize our league. As a club, the people who have been here with me from the start, it’s a great time for them. I thought we were amazing today. ”
She added: “I have waited nine years for today. It’s a long time for this moment.
“I have a feeling it’s not just a victory to qualify for the semi-finals. It’s a nine year project and I think it’s a very big day for us and a very big day for women’s football in England – but it’s not. enough. I want more. ”
To reach the final for the first time, Chelsea must go through a draw against either Bayern Munich or Rosengard – the second leg of that quarter-final will be on Thursday, with Bayern leading 3-0 in the first leg.
“I don’t think Europe has taken English football too seriously so far,” said Hayes. ” It changes. I think Manchester City’s performances and ours have brought us closer to domination.
“That’s all we did today. We’ve just taken it one step further, because the team we’ll potentially face in the semi-finals is a whole new ball game.
“I’m not in this tournament to be eliminated, I’m here to win it. I’ll just enjoy today first. ”
Sky Sports announced a three-year deal with the FA to become the main broadcaster for the Barclays Women’s Super League from September 2021.
As one of the most competitive leagues, with some of the most famous names and teams in the world, the WSL will be one of the Sky Sports ‘ flagship offers.
The deal will see Sky Sports show at least 35 exclusively live matches per season and further strengthen the broadcaster’s commitment to women’s sport.