Chelsea reclaim WSL top spot after nervy win over Spurs

Lauren James and Sam Kerr celebrate for Chelsea
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Lauren James of Chelsea celebrates with teammate Sam Kerr after scoring the team's second goal during the FA Women's Super League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Brisbane Road on February 05, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images )

Chelsea have leapfrogged Manchester United into first place in the Women’s Super League table after a thrilling clash against Spurs.

The reigning champions were made to work for the three points as they played out a nervy 3-2 win.

Former Blue Bethany England got herself on the scoresheet against her old club, alongside Nikola Karczewska. However, goals from Jess Carter, Lauren James and Guro Reiten made sure Chelsea came away with the victory.

Starting XIs

Tottenham Hotspur

Korpela; Bizet (James ’86), Turner (Karczewska ’78), Zadorsky (c), Harrop, Summanen, Spence, Iwabuchi (Ayane ’86), Neville, England


Musovic; Bright (c), Ingle, Carter, James, Reiten (Rytting Kaneryd ’80), Fleming (Kirby ’60), Kerr (Cankovic ’74), Charles (Perriset ’60), Cuthbert (Leupolz ’74), Buchanan

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How it went

It wasn’t long before Chelsea got the goal scoring action underway. Just eight minutes in, Carter found the back of the Spurs net to put her side ahead. The No. 7 directed Erin Cuthbert’s cross home via a glancing header to give the visitors an early advantage.

The reply from the hosts however was swift and came from a player well-known to the Chelsea squad. England’s equaliser came less than 10 minutes later as the forward was set through on goal by a great spell of team play from Ashleigh Neville and Drew Spence.

With both sides looking for the third goal, it was be 21-year-old James who put Chelsea ahead once again. The No.10 danced her way through numerous Tottenham players before calmly slotting the ball beyond Tinja-Riikka Korpela. The first half ended with the Blues ahead, holding on to a marginal lead.

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Despite a goalless first spell of the second half, it wasn’t long before the visitors further extended their lead.

A solo run from the halfway line saw Reiten outpace three Spurs defenders to find Chelsea’s third goal of the afternoon in the 64th minute. Just as all hope seemed lost for Skinner’s side, Karczewska provided the hosts with a way back into the game.

The Polish international’s strike from 15 yards out in the 88th minute seemed to reinvigorate Spurs. However, it wasn’t enough to inspire a comeback and Chelsea scraped through with an important three points in the bank.

Chelsea currently lead the WSL table with 31 points, two ahead of Man United in second, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Everton.

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