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Ann-Katrin Berger puts on a stunning display in Chelsea Women’s win over Man City as the German keeper makes a triumphant return after a recurrence of thyroid cancer


Ann-Katrin Berger made a triumphant return to Chelsea’s side keeping a clean sheet in their 2-0 Women’s Super League win over Manchester City.

The 31-year-old goalkeeper was diagnosed with a recurrence of thyroid cancer in August, meaning a return to football would be on the back burner in order to focus on her recovery.

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Berger was named in the starting XI at Kingsmeadow

A game that saw Chelsea lose 2-0 winners

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A game that saw Chelsea lose 2-0 winners

Berger is a popular member of Emma Hayes’ side and shared news of her diagnosis in a club statement in August.

In that statement, she wrote, “I wanted to let fans directly know that unfortunately after four years of living cancer free, a recurrence has been detected in my thyroid.

“I have said before that as a sportsman you have to fight every day to be the best you can be and that is something I will continue to do and I hope that by sharing my journey I can help others who find themselves in a similar situation.

“I am working closely with my club doctor and specialist in London and my treatment will start this week.

“I remain confident that my treatment will be as effective as last time and I look forward to getting back on the pitch and seeing you all at Kingsmeadow and Stamford Bridge.”

Thankfully, just over a month after the declaration, Berger has been named in the starting XI for the WSL match with City at Kingsmeadow with the ability to do what she loves more than anything else.

Berger's inclusion is great news for women's football

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Berger’s inclusion is great news for women’s football


Berger certainly managed to do that with a stunning display that saw the Blues claim victory in an entertaining encounter.

It was a good start for the Blues, who broke through on goal seconds after kick-off, but a ball from Millie Bright was too much for the running Sam Kerr.

Lauren James nearly found an opening with a low cross that was cleared by the City defense.

Chelsea could and should have made the breakthrough after 13 minutes when an error from Steph Houghton saw Kerr on goal, but instead of shooting they squared it to Fran Kirby who saw his effort blocked.

Kerr was smiling later in the game, however

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Kerr was smiling later in the game, however

City also showed promising signs with Chloe Kelly and Bunny Shaw trying to give Berger something to think about.

Berger was then in action at his close post when poor defensive play from Chelsea allowed Lauren Hemp to break down the left flank before forcing the German into a save.

However, Chelsea’s breakthrough came just before the break when fine play from Jessie Fleming and Guro Reiten led the ball past Kirby who struck from close range.

Impressively, it was Kirby’s 21st goal in 21 starts for the Blues.

Kirby swept home from inside the box to give Chelsea the lead

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Kirby swept home from inside the box to give Chelsea the lead

City were lucky to get an immediate response through Laura Coombs, however, Berger kept up their effort with a wonderful save.

The second half started with Chelsea firmly in control as James fired an effort wide of the mark from the right side of the area.

After dominating a shaky City defence, Chelsea earned a penalty following a handball from Leila Ouahabi, with Maren Mjelde slamming home to make it 2-0.

City advanced into the closing stages of the game to try and claim something but that was not the case as they have won back-to-back defeats this season.

Mjelde wrapped up the victory with a confident penalty

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Mjelde wrapped up the victory with a confident penalty

For Chelsea however, this win kicks off their season and will no doubt be remembered as a huge afternoon for Berger who can celebrate huge wins on and off the pitch.

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Ann-Katrin Berger puts on a stunning display in Chelsea Women's win over Man City as the German keeper makes a triumphant return after a recurrence of thyroid cancer

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