WSL: Chelsea crush Man United to claim fifth straight title

Emma Hayes and Chelsea players celebrate
Emma Hayes and Chelsea players celebrate the WSL title following the team's victory against Manchester United on May 18, 2024. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

After concerns that Emma Hayes would leave the Women’s Super League without a single trophy in her final season, Chelsea produced a statement comeback to win their fifth consecutive WSL title.

The Theatre of Dreams awaited for one half of the title challenge as recently crowned FA Cup champions Manchester United hosted Chelsea. The challenge for the Blues was simple, win by as many goals as possible. For United, the match was purely a matter of pride with their fifth-place finish already guaranteed.

Starting XIs

Manchester United

Earps; Le Tissier, Blundell, Toone, Malard, Zelem, Riviere, Naalsund, Garcia, Turner, Williams

Chelsea

Musovic; Bright, Carter, Leupolz, Macario, Reiten, Kaneryd, Charles, Cuthbert, Ramirez, Bjorn

How it went

From the off, the Blues were utterly dominant. Two goals inside ten minutes got their title charge off to a dream start. Goals from Mayra Ramirez and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd got the goalscoring action underway for Hayes’ side. A further first half goal from Ramirez alongside a goal from substitute Sjoeke Nusken sent Chelsea in four goals ahead at the break.

Melanie Leupolz added a fifth just two minutes after play resumed to put the title firmly in Chelsea’s hands. Fran Kirby’s goal rounded out the action for the Blues with five minutes of the 90 left to play.

The victory saw Chelsea lift the 2023/24 WSL title, beating Man City on goal difference. The title race was one of the closest in the league’s history, with the Blues’ clinical edge in front of goal carrying them to the title.

Embed from Getty Images

Man United’s afternoon will no doubt leave the club and their fans bitterly disappointed. The Reds have failed to produce performances in several of their big games this season. Suffering such a crushing defeat just days after winning the FA Cup laid bare their lack of consistency.

Whilst the club is one of the newer WSL sides, this season marked their sixth in the top flight. Marc Skinner’s side will soon be expected to reach their full potential to be considered serious title contenders on both the domestic and international stages.

Farewells for Chelsea

For Chelsea, the match and WSL title marked the end of an era. The departure of Emma Hayes signals a changing of the guard with no current successor announced.

Star striker Kirby has also called time on her career at Chelsea, having spent nine years at the club. As Chelsea’s all-time leading goal scorer in the WSL, Kirby has made an indelible impact on the Blues.

MORE from Her Football Hub: