WSL: Lauren James hat-trick gives Chelsea win at Stamford Bridge

Lauren James of Chelsea celebrates scoring a goal at Stamford Bridge
Lauren James of Chelsea celebrates scoring during the Barclays Women's Super League match vs Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Chelsea earned their first Women’s Super League win on 2024 on Sunday afternoon in a highly anticipated clash with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Lauren James bagged a sensational hat-trick to bank her side an important three points in their title chase.

The Blues headed into the clash sitting top of the WSL whilst United occupied the fourth spot. Chelsea are now ten points clear of Marc Skinner’s Reds.

Starting XIs

Chelsea

Hampton; Fishel, Leupolz, James, Reiten, Lawrence, Kaneryd, Charles, Cuthbert, Buchanan, Bjorn

Manchester United

Earps; Le Tissier, Blundell, Toone, Zelem, Galton, Ladd, Riviere, Garcia, Turner, Geyse

How it went

An early opener from James got the goal-scoring action underway with just five minutes on the clock. A lovely piece of work from Erin Cuthbert saw the forward break into the United box to give Emma Hayes’ side the early lead. Just 18 minutes later, the England international doubled her tally for the afternoon. Taking the ball from a long-range pass, James left Mary Earps with little to do to prevent the damage.

A first goal for United came shortly before half-time as Hayley Ladd reduced the deficit to a single goal. A strong passage of play from Brazil international Geyse allowed the Wales star to pull a consolation back ahead of the break.

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A late third for James saw the forward bag back-to-back WSL hat-tricks for the Blues at Stamford Bridge. A poor clearance from Earps saw the ball fall to the No.10, who easily slipped her defender to secure the win for the hosts.

Up next

Chelsea will get back into their Champions League campaign as they face Real Madrid in the European competition. The Blues will then face back-to-back away days to Brighton and Paris FC before welcoming Everton to Kingsmeadow.

Manchester United will hope to put the defeat behind them as they take on rivals Manchester City in Wednesday’s Continental Cup clash. Two home league ties will then follow for Marc Skinner’s side. The Reds will first welcome Aston Villa before hosting Brighton at Leigh Sports Village.

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