Chelsea FCW cruised to victory against Bristol City WFC on Sunday to take home our second consecutive Continental Cup trophy!
The Blues were always heavy favorites, but within minutes of the opening kickoff, the contest was effectively over. Fran Kirby twice assisted Sam Kerr within the opening ten minutes and the rout was on.
Kirby turned from provider to scorer in the 29th minute, deftly chipping Sophie Baggaley, after the Bristol City keeper played a pass directly to her. And she got her second of the match jus six minutes later when Sam Kerr played her through on goal. Kirby could have squared to Jessie Fleming who was all alone, but instead showed her scoring instinct to finish the chance herself.
The second half started almost identically to the first, with Fran Kirby setting up Sam Kerr for a goal within the opening five minutes of the half. Chelsea continued to pour it on, as Guro Reiten finished off perhaps the most impressive team goal of the day to make it six. Kirby, who picked up her FOURTH assist of the day, showing excellent awareness and unselfishness to play across goal for Reiten to tap in.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, the final whistle and subsequent trophy presentation were somewhat marred by what appeared to be a serious leg injury to Maren Mjelde in the final half hour. She had to be taken off the field on a stretcher after going down under contact.
Congratulations to Emma Hayes and Chelsea FCW for a remarkable cup run! The first piece of silverware of the season is in the trophy cabinet, and looking for company.
- Starting XI: Berger, Andersson, Bright, Eriksson (Blundell ‘45), Mjelde , Leupolz (Cuthbert ‘45), Ingle (Spence ‘45), Fleming, Reiten, Kirby (Carter ‘61), Kerr
- The injury to Maren Mjelde was a blow to an otherwise tremendous play. You could see the concern on the faces of her teammates as she was attended to. We all wish Maren the very best and will be hoping the injury wasn’t as severe as it appeared.
- Fran Kirby somehow keeps finding a way to outdo herself from match to match. She scored twice and assisted the other four goals. Even after contributing to six goals on the day, you could see her fierce competitiveness, demonstrated by her annoyance at being taken off in the second half. She’s reached the point where you can’t take your eyes off her no matter where she is on the pitch. I’m running out of ways to say how good she is and yet she’s still getting better.
- Hannah Blundell and Drew Spence both played well in substitute performances. Following Mjelde’s injury, Blundell may see a big increase in minutes going forward. Spence nearly scored what would have been a memorably acrobatic goal.
- Jessie Fleming earned a start and handled herself very well. She was effective in the high press and was quick to move the ball through the midfield. Her talent is evident and it’s impressive the way Emma Hayes is able to show trust in young players on big occasions.
- She didn’t have a lot to do today, but it was great to see Magda Eriksson back in the lineup. Given Mjelde’s expected absence going forward, it’s particularly important we don’t lose any more defenders. Sophie Ingle also took another knock and we’ll cross our fingers she won’t miss any matches.
- Ann-Katrin Berger was called on several times against Ebony Salmon but came up strong each time. It isn’t easy to be called on to make big saves, particularly after spending so much time with nothing to do.
- Next up: The Blues travel to take on Everton Women in a WSL matchup on Wednesday, March 17.