The quest to topple Arsenal from their top position in the Women’s Super League continues. After a great 4-1 win against West Ham to recover our spirits from the crushing loss at the League Cup finals to Manchester City, we were hosts to Aston Villa at Kingsmeadow to begin a new winning streak.
Although playing away against last year’s WSL winners, Aston Villa looked quite sharp in the first few minutes of the match. Chelsea’s difficulty with controlling the midfield brought some discomfort to our defence, who were called into action more often than usual.
That would not last long. Soon Chelsea gained control of the match, keeping the ball while trying to create chances. On the opposite side the Villans kept a strong resistance, with blocks and interceptions from defence and claims from goalkeeper Hannah Hampton to keep the hosts goalless.
With Chelsea failing to breach Aston Villa, manager Emma Hayes began making changes to the lineup. At half-time Ingle was introduced in place of Drew Spence, showing her credentials only a few minutes after her entrance with a shot from distance.
As is often the case, the opposing shot-stopper became the main stumbling block for Chelsea’s glory at home. Hampton pulled several saves in quick succession, providing massive aid to below par performances by her backline teammates.
She was certainly helped by the Blues not having the best of days upfront. Even Sam Kerr, the lethal striker that she is, failed to beat Hampton on a 1v1, missed a huge chance from a corner kick and then had a goal ruled as offside.
But as we prepared to sing our sorrows, the Blues showed their grit. Musovic’s goal kick fell to Sam Kerr and in one fell swoop, she scored a late winner to the Blues!
- Zecira Musovic stays between the posts, while Drew Spence earns a starting lineup spot after doing a decent job helping Chelsea keep their 4-1 lead against West Ham last Thursday. Guro Reiten also gets a chance to impress, in place of Pernille Harder.
- Subs are Sophie Ingle for Drew Spence, Jessie Fleming for Beth England, Erin Cuthbert for Ji So-yun, Lauren James for Niamh Charles, and Alsu Abdullina for Guro Reiten.
- Congrats on 150 league appearances, Millie Bright!
- It’s been a while since Beth England last had a remarkable showing for Chelsea. It might be the case that she needs a few more matches to recover her “groove” but we might not have the time for that — at least, not this season.
- In the face of so much adversity on and off the pitch, still having a chance to successfully defend the WSL title is still a feat for Chelsea FCW. If we fail to do so this season, I am confident we will do much better moving forward with whoever in charge of the club.
- Next up: Everton at Rossett Park for the WSL.