Lauren James and Sam Kerr came up clutch with a stunning goal to give Chelsea a crucial three points in the Women’s Super League on Sunday.
The Blues are now back at the top of the table after a narrow 1-0 win over title rivals Manchester United at Kingsmeadow.
The two sides had met earlier in the reverse fixture with the Blues coming away with a comfortable 3-1 lead. This time was a much more cagey affair, with Sam Kerr’s goal the only difference between the two.
Berger; Bright (c), Ingle, Carter, Leupolz, James, Perisset, Fleming, Kerr, Charles, Buchanan
Earps; Batlle, Blundell, Toone, Zelem (c), Galton, Ladd, Le Tissier, Turner, Parris, RussoEmbed from Getty Images
How it went
The tie promised drama from the first kick of the ball.
Several strong challenges, combined with Kerr seeing two efforts stopped by Mary Earps, formed a relentless opening 20 minutes.
It was the Australian international who found the opener in the 23rd minute. After a stunning pass from Lauren James, Kerr brought the ball down on the edge of the box and her shot sailed just over Earps’ head.
The two Chelsea forwards are rapidly becoming a real force to be reckoned with in the WSL.
With the hosts leading only by a slight margin at half-time, Man United were still confident they could bring something back.
The second half saw a slightly more dominant United, with the Chelsea defence being called into action several times.
Throughout the half the Reds’ stats were consistently better than their opponents in almost every area. However, the visitors were unable to find the clinical edge in front of goal.
Despite the visitors’ persistence the game finished with reigning champions Chelsea taking home a huge win in their mission to win another WSL title.
Chelsea will next travel to Reading for the FA Cup quarter-final, before facing Lyon away for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
Manchester United will meet Lewes as the Reds look to secure their spot in the FA Cup semi final before hosting West Ham in the WSL.