The gap is closing on European elite, says Chelsea’s Davison

By Joshua Richards

THERE can be few better ways of getting over the disappointment of missing out on a league title than a floodlit night of European football.

Couple that with the fact Chelsea will get to face Wolfsburg at Stamford Bridge, with the chance to follow in the footsteps of Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, it is no wonder winger Gemma Davison is not all doom and gloom.

Chelsea’s faint hopes of overthrowing Manchester City at the top of the Women’s Super League 1 table were ended on Sunday with a 2-0 defeat to the newly-crowned champions.

But on Wednesday they face arguably the biggest game of the season when two-time winners and last year’s runners-up, Wolfsburg, come to town for a second successive year.

Though German clubs have dominated the European scene, with a representative in the final of this competition in each of the last nine seasons, 29-year-old Davison is looking forward to showing how much that gap is being bridged at the Bridge.

“We’re a better team than we were last year, 100 per cent,” said the former Arsenal and Liverpool star.

“We’ve had the experience of playing Champions League football and we’ve got some big players at this club now.

“Wolfsburg are one of the best teams I have ever played against. They are organised and clinical.

“But the gap is closing. Our league is improving all the time.

“It’s not just one or two teams flying high, it’s through the whole league.

“You can see it in the standard of the games. They’re getting better and better and that’s a statement to the rest of Europe.

“We know how difficult it would be to win the competition. There are such strong teams, not just the German clubs, but PSG and Lyon, for example. But we want to go and push those teams, so we’ll certainly give it a go.

“We know it’s a big game. We can’t dwell on what’s happened in the league.

“We’ve got so many winners in our team  there will be no problem to bounce back.” Chelsea received a further shot in the arm this week when Davison put pen to paper on a new contract that will keep her in Emma Hayes’ squad until 2018.

And Davison, capped 13 times by the Three Lionesses, is certain of a bright future with Chelsea.

“It was an easy decision to sign the new deal,” she added.

“Everything that has happened since I signed has been brilliant. I’ve had one of the best seasons of my career.

“I feel I’m continuing to improve as a player and I’ve got great respect for my team-mates, on and off the pitch.

“I love our style of play. It’s a special club and there is nowhere I would rather be.

“You always feel good when you go into our training ground. The club are so supportive of us.

“The standard of everything is going up in the women’s game and we’ve been successful because of it.”

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