Emma Hayes Manchester City Women v Chelsea Women - SSE Women's FA Cup Semi Final football match, Academy Stadium, Manchester, UK - 14 Apr 2019 Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA

Chelsea boss Hayes takes responsibility for shock defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion

Emma Hayes was visibly disappointed with Chelsea’s missed opportunity to move three points clear in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League title race after her side fell to a shock 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.

With title rivals Manchester United losing 2-0 to Reading, Hayes’ Chelsea side missed an opportunity to create breathing room at the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table as a Brighton & Hove Albion side in poor form made a mockery of the rankings.

Speaking in Chelsea’s post-match press conference in which FA Women’s Super League Full-Time were present, Hayes said “It is an opportunity missed, but it’s not the end of the world.

“I’m disappointed to lose the game, I think the Manchester United result and our result serves a reminder that if you’re not on it in this league, then you can be turned over.”

When the line-ups were revealed on Sunday afternoon, there were notable absentees with Millie Bright, Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder failing to make the starting XI. When asked by FAWSL Full-Time, if those changes were as a result of fixture congestion and whether they impacted Chelsea’s performance against The Seagulls, Hayes was willing to deflect criticism away from her players.

She said “I’m the manager and I pick the team. If the team lose, the manager takes the responsibility and I take responsibility for the loss.

“I don’t think the time is right to pull apart that decision because then it means that separates the dressing room.

“As a team, it wasn’t good enough for us today and everyone in that dressing room knows that.”

Hayes went on to point out the problems that resulted in the ending of The Blues’ 33-game unbeaten record in the Barclays FA Womens Super League.

She added “I thought our intention, our intensity, our aggression were really poor today.

“We’ve given away two set-piece goals which I don’t think we’ve done in my whole time here, extremely poor goals.

“We were a little out of sorts today.

“Everyone feels emotional after a defeat because we don’t get them that often. When they come, we have to be calm about it and put in place the right things so we rectify it.”

Chelsea will be looking to return to winning ways ahead of the international break when they come up against fourth-placed Arsenal at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday night.

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