WSL: Lauren James on song again as Chelsea beat Brighton

Lauren James of Chelsea celebrates with teammate Niamh Charles after scoring a goal
Lauren James of Chelsea celebrates with teammate Niamh Charles after scoring their sides first goal during the Barclays Women's Super League match vs Brighton & Hove Albion (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Chelsea banked another important three points in their Women’s Super League title quest on Sunday. Lauren James was on song yet again as her brace contributed to the Blues’ 3-0 win over Brighton.

The two sides last met in October, with Chelsea taking all three points from a six-goal thriller at Kingsmeadow.

Starting XIs

Brighton

Baggaley; Thorisdottir, Pattinson, Bergsvand, Losada, Sarri, Bremer, Olme, Terland, Kullberg, Pinto

Chelsea

Hampton; Carter, Leupolz, James, Reiten, Kirby, Perisset, Kaneryd, Charles, Cuthbert, Bjorn

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How it went

A bright start for Brighton saw Chelsea pinned back in their half for much of the opening spell. However, it wasn’t long before the WSL champions began to exert their control on the game. Despite facing a barrage of attacks, the Seagulls were to keep the tie goalless heading into halftime.

The second half saw Emma Hayes’ team take the lead just seconds after play resumed. A spectacular finish saw James side foot the ball into the back of the Brighton net. The forward converted Niamh Charles’ assist to fire the ball into the top corner of Sophie Baggaley’s goal.

Just five minutes later, Fran Kirby doubled the Blues’ lead. Heading home a well-worked cross from Melanie Leupolz, the England international gave her side a comfortable lead. James bagged her second of the afternoon in the 59th minute. The No.10 picked up the ball inside the area, firing it into the bottom corner of the net.

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Despite trailing by three goals, the hosts continued to push for a route back into the tie. Despite their efforts, Melissa Phillips’ side were unable to find a late consolation. The defeat left the Seagulls in ninth with four of the weekend’s games still to be played.

The win puts Chelsea six points clear of Manchester City in second place. The Blues have dropped just five points from 12 games so far this season.

Who do Chelsea and Brighton face next?

Brighton will travel to face Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village for a difficult league fixture. The Seagulls will then take on Wolves in the FA Cup.

Chelsea’s next match will see the Blues travel to face Paris FC in their final Champions League group game. Hayes’ side have already guaranteed progression to the next round of the competition sitting three points clear at the top of Group D.

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