From the uncharacteristic defeat suffered at the hands of Manchester City in the League Cup final, Chelsea were in dire need of a bounce back. No better way to do so in the Women’s Super League against West Ham at Victoria Road, as the Blues still have a great chance at defending the title with three games in hand and eight points behind leaders Arsenal.
We started out strong, with Pernille Harder nearly getting a one-minute goal. Aniek Nouwen got the rebound, but the defender could not hold onto the ball for long to make anything of it.
Chelsea remained in control, with Sam Kerr, Sophie Ingle and Beth England getting close to opening the score for the Blues in yellow at Victoria Road. However the opening goal would come courtesy of Harder, with a great finish from Jonna Andersson’s pass to put us in the lead against the Hammers.
When it rains, it pours. Only a couple of minutes following Harder’s goal, Niamh Charles followed suit with a great shot from distance. Chelsea 2-0 up against the hosts, rewarding great football displayed by the Londoners up until this point in the match.
West Ham tried to answer and were only stopped by Zecira Musovic, with a great defence to avoid a top bin goal from the hosts. Soon after Ji So-yun and Harder combined for Chelsea’s third goal this first half, with the former providing a great pass to the Danish attacker for a powerful header at the goal of West Ham’s Mackenzie Arnold.
Musovic was put to work again by West Ham, and she rose to the occasion. They could have diminished our advantage late in the half after a bad pass from Jess Carter, but we were lucky in their failure to doing so.
Chelsea’s “eerie” start to the second half was quickly punished by the hosts. West Ham managed to pull one back via Dagny Brynjarsdóttir, helped by lack of communication between Musovic and her defenders.
Eeriness persisted on Chelsea’s side, with West Ham growing confident in their chances to add at least another goal and bring some real heat to the Blues. However Chelsea needed only one good chance to get things back on balance, finding a fourth goal tonight via Sam Kerr.
That was the cold shower West Ham needed to slow down and make things a little easier for Chelsea. While Lois Joel tried to wrest the hosts back into the match with a couple of shots, there were not enough to make it so.
- An interesting starting lineup, with Zecira Musovic in goal and and an attracking trio of Beth England, Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr.
- Subs are Guro Reiten for Beth England, Drew Spence for Ji So-yun, Alsu Abdullina for Jonna Andersson, and Lauren James for Pernille Harder.
- Pernille Harder is a great player — and so are her teammates.
- Defence is still an issue for Chelsea, and it is likely we would be addressing the sector in the transfer window. We can only hope any of the current issues over club ownership are solved as soon as possible, so we do not lose the chance of reinforcing the team.
- Next up: Aston Villa at Kingsmeadow in the WSL.