Birmingham City Women arrived in London and attempted to frustrate the Blues by playing a very compact defense. They were able to hold Chelsea to a single goal in their prior meeting, and they may have believed they could even steal a point in London today.
That belief was however gone within the opening half hour, when Sam Kerr scored her first of three first half goals. Erin Cuthbert flashed some fancy footwork on the edge of the box before fizzing a shot that Birmingham keeper Hannah Hampton could only parry a few feet to her left. Despite being at a nearly impossible angle, Sam Kerr smashed the rebound inside the post to give Chelsea a deserved 1-0 lead.
The deserved lead seemed to build further confidence in Chelsea. Quick passing became even quicker and Birmingham City were struggling to gain any possession. But it wasn’t until a few minutes before halftime that Chelsea found their second goal. Pernille Harder nearly finished off an attacking move, but headed off the crossbar from close range. The rebound floated dangerously in the box, where Sam Kerr rose highest to smash a header into the back of the net.
With a hat trick in sight, it took only two minutes for Kerr to hunt down her third. Erin Cuthbert played a wonderful looping cross to the back post from a free kick. Sam Kerr once again leaped head and shoulders above the helpless defenders and powered a header beyond a helpless Hannah Hampton. The halftime whistle finally arrived for Birmingham City, but they were now well out of the match at 3-0.
With the match buried, Emma Hayes brought on three substitutions to begin the second half. The substitutions did nothing to slow down the Blues attack. Bethany England came on for her first minutes since returning from a concussion. Fifteen minutes after coming on, England assisted Fran Kirby to finish off a beautiful team goal down the right side.
Another halftime substitute, Guro Reiten put away Chelsea’s fifth goal, a near carbon copy of the fourth.
Chelsea continued to pour on the pressure until the final whistle. Fran Kirby put a bow on another excellent performance by skipping into the box before sliding a finish into the far corner.
Another ruthless performance from Chelsea ended with another crooked scoreline, this time 6-0.
- Starting XI: Berger, Andersson (‘46 Blundell), Bright, Eriksson, Charles, Spence, Leupolz (‘57 Fleming), Harder (‘46 England), Cuthbert (‘46 Reiten), Kirby, Kerr (‘62 Carter)
- Ann-Katrin Berger, was that you back there in goal? Hard to say when the camera never really pans to that side of the pitch.
- Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr combine to score 5 of the 6 Chelsea goals. The rate at which both players are scoring goals is absurd.
- Claudia Walker was all alone up front for Birmingham, often tasked with trying to chase down hopeful clearances against the entire Chelsea backline. She nearly scored once after Millie Bright misplayed an attempted header, but that was it.
- It was great to see Drew Spence in the starting lineup. She played well but after scoring a brace against Birmingham City in 2019, it would have been cooler to see her finding the back of the net again.
- Magda Eriksson looked to have picked up a bit of a shoulder injury late in the match. At least she appeared to be fine, and hopefully that is sign that it won’t create any lingering fitness issues.
- Next up: Chelsea host London City Lionesses at Kingsmeadow on April 18th in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup.