The man ran onto the pitch in an attempt to get a photo with Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson. But he couldn’t get past 28-year-old Kerr, who barged the intruder with her shoulder, forcing him to the ground.
Cheers soon turned to boos as Swedish referee Sara Persson gave Kerr a yellow card.
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has since declared that “we’ve got to put player protection first.”
“He could have waited until the end for a photograph if he really wanted one. But jokes aside, we do have to think about player safety,” Hayes said.
“We’ve seen in the growth of the game there is this sense of the players being more in demand. It should serve as a reminder to us all in our stadiums and with our stewards we’ve got to put player protection first.”
The yellow card didn’t go down well with Chelsea fans. “I don’t understand,” one Twitter user said. “Some rando goes on the field during the game, a player knocks him down, and she gets yellow card? Give her a gold card.”
Another added: “Sam Kerr got a yellow for this. I think she have gotten a ticker-tape parade.”
“Sam Kerr deserves a Ballon d’Or for this,” one user proclaimed.
More Twitter users were in awe of Kerr’s daring move, with one calling her “a goddamn treasure.”
“Why the hell do @NWSL players have to protect themselves from predators constantly EVEN DURING GAMES?? For effs sake. Also: @samkerr1 you are a goddamn treasure,” they said, while another called it “one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever seen.”
“Sam Kerr dropping a pitch invader during a champions league game is the most girlboss sh*t I’ve ever seen and I’m so here for it,” another added.
Chelsea will qualify for the quarterfinals if they avoid defeat during next week’s final round of fixtures.
“We’re in the driving seat [to qualify] going into the last game in the position we want to be in,” Hayes said.
“I thought we looked a little tired but I think that’s to be expected. I think we had the toughest group -- to be sitting at the top of the group right now, I’m really happy about that.”