Chelsea sweep Tottenham aside to extend unbeaten WSL record

Figcaption Chelsea Sweep Tottenham Aside To Etend Unbeaten WSL Record
Posted at: Author: Rain TV UK

Can anyone catch Chelsea? On paper the title race looks extremely tight but as Melanie Leupolz and Ji So-yun assumed an imperious hold on midfield at Kingsmeadow and the goals flowed it was hard to imagine anyone toppling Emma Hayes’s defending champions from their pedestal.

When the final whistle blew an ultimately irrepressible Chelsea had extended their unbeaten Women’s Super League record to 33 games, leaving Rehanne Skinner to reflect on a first defeat since her installation as Tottenham’s manager in November.

Chelsea 4-0 Tottenham Hotspur: WSL – as it happened Read more

“I’m so blessed with so many good players, we’ve got so much quality,” said Hayes, who has not only recruited very well but succeeded in persuading her firmament of stars to buy into a ‘side before self’ mantra. “Confidence across the squad is high regardless of who plays. My challenge now is to maintain those standards.”

Here Chelsea started in deceptively sluggish mode - “we’re human and we’re not all always at our best,” said Hayes - but once their manager had tweaked the team’s shape to 3-4-3 in order to pile pressure on Tottenham down the flanks the landscape altered almost beyond recognition.

Skinner’s side had begun by pressing their hosts high and hard and, for 20 minutes, it was impossible to write off their chances of registering a fourth straight win. Only a fine finger-tip save on Ann-Katrin Berger’s part prevented Ria Percival from opening the scoring for the visitors but, shortly after Chelsea’s goalkeeper had performed wonders to push Perceival’s capricious left foot shot on to a post, Spurs’ collective concentration waned.

As Hayes’s side pressed those tactical buttons, some of the early intensity and discipline disappeared from their opponents’ pressing and Sam Kerr and company sensed increasing opportunity. When Leupolz – outstanding throughout – found herself in hitherto undreamt-of space, Chelsea’s summer signing from Bayern Munich made the most of it by unleashing a looping right-foot, 30-yard shot which caught the debut-making Aurora Mikalsen cold as it swerved away from the static Spurs goalkeeper en route to the top corner.

Quick Guide

WSL roundup


Manchester United maintained the pressure on Chelsea courtesy of a 2-0 win at Everton which left Casey Stoney’s side behind the leaders only on goal difference. Jill Scott made her second debut for Everton after rejoining on loan from Manchester City and registered an 150th WSL appearance as goals from Ella Toone and Christen Press secured the points for United. 

Third-placed Manchester City maintained their challenge with a 4-0 home win against West Ham. Caroline Weir, Georgia Stanway, Ellen White and Rose Lavelle were all on the scoresheet as Gareth Taylor’s side registered a fifth successive WSL win. Although City remain five points behind the top two they appear in formidable form approaching two potentially pivotal games at Arsenal and at home against United. But United will be without Tobin Heath for up to 12 weeks after the USA player sustained an ankle injury in training. 

Aston Villa’s new manager, Marcus Bignot, watched Chelsea demolish Tottenham after Villa’s home game with fourth‑placed Arsenal was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch. Louise Taylor

Was this helpful? Thank you for your feedback.

The Norwegian was swiftly involved in a second concession with fingers pointed at her arguably faulty footwork once more when Fran Kirby intercepted a slapdash exchange between the keeper and Tottenham’s Canada defender Shelina Zadorsky. With Zadorsky bypassed, Kirby advanced down the right before pulling the ball back for Pernille Harder to polish things off. As the Denmark striker’s shot deflected in off Abbie McManus’s head Skinner’s side were effectively sunk. It was hardly the sort of debut contribution McManus can have hoped for when the defender joined on loan from Manchester United this month.

By half-time her new team had conceded again. The scorer this time was Kerr, the Australia forward heading home from six yards after connecting with a Harder cross from the left facilitated by Ji’s stellar long pass. It was Kerr’s ninth WSL goal of the campaign.

Jill Scott: ' I’ve still got a lot to give; I still believe in myself' Read more

If Spurs hoped their hosts might relax in the second period, a side increasingly unable to string more than a couple of passes together were mistaken. It took a tremendous headed clearance off the line from Percival to keep out Harder’s volley before Leupolz made it four from the penalty spot.

Beth England had barely stepped off the bench before her attempted cross was diverted by Kerys Harrop’s elbow. As Leupolz delighted in sending Mikalsen the wrong way, Tottenham’s players stared at the ground.

“Until the first goal we were slow and sloppy and played into their hands,” said Hayes. “But we have the maturity and experience to be calm under pressure, we made some adjustments and, after that, we dominated.”

Chelsea’s manager was happy to highlight Leupolz’s leading role in such omnipotence. “Melanie has been an unbelievable signing for us this season,” she said. “She brings an energy and tenacity but also composure, calmness and leadership.”

The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email

Ultimele News