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Matildas captain Sam Kerr ‘best’ in world after firing Chelsea to semi-finals

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Australian ace Sam Kerr has been labelled the best striker in the world after firing Chelsea into the semi-finals of the Champion League.

The 27-year-old Matildas captain, who made her name hitting the back of the net for Perth Glory, scored one – her 20th of the campaign – and played a crucial hand in another as Chelsea easily accounted for German champions Wolfsburg 3-0 to give them a 5-1 aggregate win over the two-legs.

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“World-class” Kerr stars for Chelsea | 00:37

Kerr won a first-half penalty after being brought down in the box from a through ball. European player of the year Pernille Harder stepped up and fooled the goal-keeper to find the back of the net.

Having survived a scare moments later, Kerr then broke the spirits of Wolfsburg as she turned her opposite inside-out and fired emphatically to find the bottom right corner.

Asked in her role as a pundit on BT Sport whether Kerr was among the best strikers in the world, Carney said: “She is the best for me”.

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Sam Kerr with a hat-trick and backflip! | 00:48

Carney, capped 144 times by England, joined in the acclaim for Kerr’s goal in Budapest.

“Her movement is exceptional, the way she peels off, finds space,” Carney said.

“Fran [Kirby] peeled off for her [Kerr’s] goal but it was the movement, to check after the ball came to feet, the protection of the ball, the turn.”

The plaudits she’s now receiving come less than two years after copping criticism following her slow star in front of goal.

“It didn’t work for her at the start of the season but people have got to understand the pressure, the expectation she faced, going into Chelsea with a big name on your jersey,” Carney said.

“And [Chelsea manager] Emma Hayes stood by her, [saying] ‘I’ve spent 18 months recruiting her, I’m going to stand by her because I know this girl is going to win us the Champions League’. And she will.

“She’s outstanding. She’s the best forward in Europe at the moment.”

Sam Kerr scores UCL stunner! | 00:46

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