Shots on target by Drew Spence and Erin Cuthbert less than a minute into the match would set the tune of this Chelsea match against Birmingham City at Kingsmeadow for the Women’s Super League. With the title contenders returning home and facing the second-to-last team in the league table, it would not be an easy afternoon for the visitors.
Four minutes in, the first goal was in. A simple but beautiful dink from the edge of the penalty box by Fran Kirby beats goalkeeper Marie Hourihane for our opener today.
High octane from Chelsea continued, despite Birmingham’s best efforts to disrupt it by playing as compact as possible in their defensive third. Millie Bright almost undid all their work with an amazing effort from range, defended by Hourihane for a corner in the 11th minute.
Soon the second would come via Sam Kerr. A great ball through to the striker by Jessie Fleming gets the Australian in a one-vs-one with the opposing shot-stopper, and the simple finish is enough to put two past the visitors.
The third goal would also be Kerr’s. Fleming sets up yet another great chance to Fran Kirby, initially cleared by Birmingham’s defence. But Kerr, the opportunistic striker that she is, gets the finish to score a second goal for her and Chelsea’s third today.
And then came a fourth, to complete Sam Kerr’s first half hat-trick. From a Drew Spence bomb, and a rebound opportunity on Hourihane’s defence, came the great chance for Kerr to make it 4-0 Chelsea in the first half.
Taking a step back after halftime was apparently not an option, at least in the first minutes of the second half. Although we had a bit of a scare after a backpass in defence almost going awry, the Blues were still fairly in control and getting themselves forward whenever possible.
Although it became clear it would be best not to risk injuries by forcing ourselves into the high-octane football of yore, there was still time and space for more goals. On her Chelsea WSL debut, Lauren James provided the secondary assist to Sam Kerr, passing it to Kirby so she could score her 100th Chelsea goal — the first player to ever do so for the club.
- No 4-4-2 start this time, with the 3-4-3 back in. Jess Carter starts in defence, and Drew Spence and Melanie Leupolz make the central midfield pairing.
- Very positive stuff from the first minutes at Kingsmeadow, which is a nice change from the uncharacteristic lack of it in our last Champions League match against Servette.
- The good thing about building a 4-0 lead in the first half, is being able to take a step back in the second one. Best not to tire ourselves too much with an international break coming up!
- Subs are Lauren James for Jessie Fleming, Jonna Andersson for Guro Reiten, and Beth England for Fran Kirby.
- 100 club goals for Fran Kirby. Massive!
- Next up: Juventus at Kingsmeadow for the Champions League, when club football returns in December.