Chelsea made it four wins in a row in all competitions with a 2-0 win over London rivals West Ham United at The Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Powerful headers from Sam Kerr and Beth England gave the visitors all three points, as they remain two points clear at the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table, ahead of Manchester City.
West Ham United made three changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Brighton & Hove Albion over three weeks ago with Courtney Brosnan, Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Kenza Dali coming in to replace Mackenzie Arnold, Maz Pacheco and Lois Joel.
Chelsea meanwhile made three changes themselves from their 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid in midweek in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, with Guro Reiten and Niamh Charles coming in, along with Zecira Musovic, who made her debut in goal.
West Ham United made a promising start and they went close to breaking the deadlock through Martha Thomas. The forward superbly controlled the ball from a perfect long ball over the top by Kenza Dali, before firing over from close range.
The missed chance would provide to be a cruel blow as Chelsea opened the scoring minutes later. Kerr recorded her 12th league goal of the season as she broke the deadlock with a powerful header beyond Courtney Brosnan, heading home from an England cross from the right after seven minutes.
It took Chelsea until the half-hour mark to threaten the West Ham United defence again following an even opening in East London, as Kerr’s right wing cross was headed down brilliantly by Pernille Harder, but the ball was palmed away by Brosnan and cleared from danger.
Chelsea doubled their lead within two minutes of the restart. A quick long ball from Niamh Charles picked out Kerr down the right, who crossed at the byline for England to double her side’s advantage. She headed fiercely beyond Brosnan to record
her 11th goal of the season in all competitions.
Chelsea managed the game well in possession and should have sealed the victory with a third goal with 15 minutes to go but they were denied by the woodwork following a header by substitute Fran Kirby. Reiten struck the rebound but she was denied by a brilliant save by Brosnan who diverted the ball out for a corner.
West Ham United struggled to get into the game and didn’t manage a single shot on target. Their best chance fell to Dali as the game approached second half injury time, but her free-kick went sailing over from 20 yards out.
The visitors held out for what was a fourth straight victory in all competitions. The result also sees Chelsea become the first team in Barclays FA Women’s Super League history to win five games away from home in a row without conceding.
The Blues now head into a double-header of cup games over the next week. They first take on Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 16 game on Wednesday before heading to Vicarage Road next Sunday to face Bristol City in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup final.
West Ham United will want to get back to winning ways when they take on Birmingham City in their next game in 10 days’ time.
Article author: Brad Saxton