Fran Kirby of Chelsea Manchester United Women v Chelsea Women, WSL football match, Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, UK - 06 Sep 2020 Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA

Chelsea extend lead at the FAWSL summit with victory at Bristol City

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Women’s Super League table to five points, with an impressive 5-0 win away at Bristol City.

It is the second time this season that Chelsea have taken three points from Bristol City following a 9-0 win against them at Kingsmeadow back in September.

Chelsea were denied the chance to take the lead within the first minute, when left-back Jonna Andersson crossed low and found Pernille Harder, whose side-footed effort was saved by the legs of Bristol City goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley.

The visitors continued to apply early pressure and they had further opportunities to take the lead but both Andersson and Sam Kerr failed to take their chances against the league’s bottom side.

Chelsea made the breakthrough after 14 minutes when Maren Mjelde’s in-swinging corner was met by the head of Fran Kirby who slotted past Baggaley, to score her 10th league goal of the season.

The away side should have doubled their lead just before the half hour mark, however, Beth England shot wide following a good run and cross down the left by Ji So-yun.

Pernille Harder gifted her side a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes, as she danced her way through the Bristol City defence and superbly put the ball beyond Baggaley into the top right corner, following a perfect lay-off by Bethany England.

The goals continued to come for the visitors and they made it 3-0 minutes later through Fran Kirby’s second goal of the game, as she superbly lofted the ball over Baggaley, following another good pull back from England.

As the rain started to descend onto Twerton Park, Chelsea started the second half as they finished the first as they secured their fourth goal of the game after 55 minutes. England’s left-wing cross was perfectly headed in by top scorer Kerr, leaving Baggaley with no chance.

Chelsea continued their professional display and five minutes later, they made the scoreline 5-0. England scrambled the ball home at the far post, as she got on the end of Harder’s pinpoint cross from the right.

Moments before being substituted, Kirby was denied her hat-trick, as Baggaley managed to tip away a powerful effort by the Chelsea forward in the penalty box.

The second half became a difficult task for both teams to try and play due to the conditions, however, Chelsea managed to keep a clean sheet and see off their opponents for the second time this season.

Chelsea’s win over Bristol City ensures that they remain top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, five points ahead of Manchester City, who do have a game in hand.

Chelsea will be looking to win the FA Women’s Continental League Cup for a second year running, when both sides meet again in a months’ time in the final at Vicarage Road on Sunday 14 March (kick-off 2.30pm).

Article author: Brad Saxton

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