Chelsea 3–0 Tottenham Hotspur: Blues cruise at Stamford Bridge to top of WSL

Guro Reiten of Chelsea holds off pressure from Celin Bizet of Tottenham Hotspur.
Guro Reiten of Chelsea holds off pressure from Celin Bizet of Tottenham Hotspur during the FAWSL match at Stamford Bridge on 20 November 2022. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Chelsea went top of the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) thanks to a confident win in front of a club-record crowd at Stamford Bridge.

The defending champions welcomed back Emma Hayes to the dugout. She oversaw goals from Sam Kerr, Erin Cuthbert and a penalty from Guro Reiten, as the Blues comfortably defeated their London rivals.

Team news

Chelsea made two changes from their previous WSL clash—the key victory over Manchester United.

Ann-Katrin Berger continued in goal. Eve Perisset started at right-back with captain Magdalena Eriksson as the opposite fullback. Millie Bright and Kadeisha Buchanan were in the centre of defence. Sophie Ingle screened the backline, with Jessie Fleming and Erin Cuthbert given free midfield roles. Guro Reiten continued on the left, with Lauren James on the right of the attack. Sam Kerr was up top, leading the line.

Chelsea also welcomed back Fran Kirby onto a strong bench—including Beth England, Jo Kaneryd and Katerina Svitkova.

First half

It was a slow start from Chelsea. The home side struggled to build coherent attacks and Spurs kept their shape well. However, their defensive solidity was shattered on the 12th minute.

An innocuous long clearance by Millie Bright was seized upon by Sam Kerr. The Aussie striker held off a Spurs defender before bearing down on Tinja-Riikka Korpela’s goal. Despite multiple players flooding back onto the line, she cooly tucked into the far corner for her fourth WSL goal of the season.

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The goal buoyed the home side and again Kerr had another chance to score. Seizing on Fleming’s through-ball, she turned inside brilliantly past Zadorsky but shot straight at Korpela.

Despite the missed opportunity, Chelsea did double their lead on the 26th minute. A deep corner from Guro Reiten deflected away to Erin Cuthbert lurking outside the box. The Scot—who just this week signed a new deal—chested the loose ball down before unleashing a wicked half-volley that swerved and dipped into the top corner, despite Korpela’s best efforts.

The third goal came in the 36th minute. Lauren James continued her excellent recent form by tormenting Asmita Ale and Ashleigh Neville down the wing. The Lioness drove past both of them and showed superb balance and strength to power into the box. She was then pulled down by Neville—a blatant tug and simple call. Guro Reiten was the surprise player to step up: the Norwegian winger grabbed her first goal of the season from the spot.

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Second half

Chelsea started the second half with similar intent and nearly grabbed a fourth. Again it was a Reiten corner that caused chaos. It bounced all the way through the box to Millie Bright at the back post. Another thunderous half-volley, however, this time it crashed off the crossbar and away from safety.

With the midweek match against Real Madrid, Emma Hayes made multiple changes to refresh the squad. Captain Magdalena Eriksson was replaced by Jess Carter. Then, Fran Kirby and Beth England replaced Sam Kerr and Erin Cuthbert. In between this, Spurs had a half-chance through Ashleigh Neville. The fullback marauded forward, but her long-range effort was easily saved by Berger.

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The game tempo eventually dropped and began to drift significantly, punctuated by a concerning number of pointless Mexican waves around the crowd. Lauren James attempted to re-assert focus on the football. She turned brilliantly and let fly from outside the box. Her curling effort was tipped away brilliantly by Korpela for a corner, which came to nothing. The Blues made two further changes, bringing on Kateřina Svitková and Aniek Nouwen for Kadeisha Buchanan and Guro Reiten.

The last chance came in added time. Nouwen’s marauding run saw her charge the length of the pitch, before combining with Sophie Ingle. The Dutch defender did eventually clip into the box, however, Sophie Ingle’s ambitious effort sailed onto the roof of the net.

Chelsea now go top of the WSL with a confident win, and all eyes turn to the away game in Madrid. The Blues will be pleased to have Emma Hayes back on the touchline. As for Spurs, they continue to struggle in big games by conceding poor goals—something that will annoy Rehanne Skinner.

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