Is it possible to love and hate at the same time? Put in another way is it possible to fight dirty with a lover and still maintain the sweetness in the pudding?
Swiss internationals Alisha Lehmann and Ramona Bachmann are in what you could call love and hate relationship and are forging ahead switching from love to hate whenever situation demands.
Both are female footballers playing for West Ham and Chelsea respectively. On the pitch they are arch rivals in the Super League as they attempt to earn victory and win laurels for their sides but off the pitch the two ladies are love birds.
When both London sides meet, issues of love are put in the cooler at least for 90 minutes. When both clubs went head to head in November, Lehmann and Bachmann had little choice but to put aside their mutual affection for the dirty job on the pitch.
Their story is told in a BBC Three documentary called ‘Britain’s Youngest Football Boss’ which follows the fortunes of 19-year-old Jack Sullivan, managing director of the West Ham Women’s team.
The tale of Lehmann, the 20-year-old West Ham forward, and Bachmann, the 28-year-old Chelsea striker, is told on the fourth episode of the series, just released on iPlayer.
Going behind the scenes at their shared home, a trailer shows the build up to the match, with Sullivan, son of Hammers co-owner David, saying ‘we’ve never had partner up against partner in the men’s game.’
Speaking about their shared life in football, Bachmann says: ‘There are a lot of positives with having someone who does the same thing.
‘I am not going out at the weekends because I have games, she knows what I am going through and I understand her as well.’
Lehmann speaks about how compatriot Bachmann was her ‘idol’ when she started playing the game: ‘She is really, really good, technical and fast.
In the match, played on November 4, Chelsea won 2-0 and, unfortunately for her girlfriend, Bachmann scored both goals.
At the end, a visibly disappointed Lehmann doesn’t want to talk about the outcome having lost out on the bragging rights front at home as well as the points on the pitch.
Their relationship became public knowledge last year; with their national team coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg saying, with plenty of understatement: ‘The situation is not exceptional in women’s football. The return fixture between Chelsea and West Ham is on March 31. Will it be the turn of Lehmann to take revenge or will Bachmann hold sway on the pitch and apologise later off the pitch for love sake?