3 takeaways as Chelsea Women dismantle Leicester City in the WSL again
For the third straight match in front of their home fans at Kingsmeadow, the Chelsea Women collect all three points as the club’s fourth straight league title begins to become more and more of a reality.
This is what many have come to expect. When the margin of error is slim to none, the women in blue know what it takes to get the task done. Leicester City has had a miraculous second half of the season, but Willie Kirk’s side was simply no match for the “end of season Chelsea Women”. After netting just nine goals in the previous seven matches in all competitions before this past weekend, Emma Hayes’ side has been as clinical as you can get in front of goal.
Even with club’s leading goal-scorer in the WSL this season Sam Kerr taking the day off, the depth of this side was back on full display. Whether it was Pernille Harder running right at the Foxes’ backline or Lauren James smashing her strike into the top corner, Wednesday evening in southwest London produced another collection of memorable goals.
The club’s 13 goals in the last two league fixtures are more than the men’s team has been able to produce in their last 12 matches in all competitions. The victory brings the Blues just one point off of Manchester United at the top of the table, the team the west Londoners will encounter at Wembley this upcoming Sunday afternoon.
By the final whistle, the west London outfit had found the back of the net enough to surpass United for the league-lead in total goals, netting 57 through in just 19 contests. Before the match, Hayes gave the visitors a lot of credit for the kind of campaign they are having, informing her side not to take any opponent lightly no matter where they may be at the table. From the opening whistle, it was evident Chelsea Women received that message.
Kirk’s team never looked dangerous in the final third, failing collect a single shot on target from their six attempts. For a side that was able to challenge Arsenal on the road and run rampant against Liverpool just two contests ago, this beatdown has to be demoralizing for a team that is just attempting to remain in the English top-flight for their third consecutive season. The last time Leicester failed to challenge to goalkeeper with a strike in the league was all the way back in October in a 4-0 loss to Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City at the Academy Stadium.
Both Kadeisha Buchanan and Katerina Svitkova returned to the matchday squad as Buchanan made an essential appearance ahead of one of the biggest contests of the season. It was the first time the Blues had a full bench in a league match since the victory over Tottenham at Brisbane Road back in February. It may not be a completely healthy squad that includes Fran Kirby and Millie Bright, but it is definitely a positive to see Hayes have more than just five position players available as substitutions. It was exactly what this team needed to warm-up for a visit to northwest London. Here are three takeaways from the contest that leaves the west London side just three wins away from a league title.