Less than a minute into the match Chelsea would show Tottenham what they came in for today at Kingsmeadow. Quick transition from defence to attack led to Sam Kerr recording our first shot on target from a Jess Carter cross, defended by Spurs goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela.
The Blues kept on the pressure. Captain Magda Eriksson narrowly missed the target with a header, and a good Erin Cuthbert attempt after Guro Reiten’s cross was blocked by a Tottenham defender.
And then Beth England, having already made a long-range attempt that had no chance of hitting the target, did everything in the right way with our opening goal. Jonna Andersson’s cross was met by a great header from the striker, rising highest than anyone in the box and taking the opposing shot-stopper out of contention to score our first goal of the night.
Tottenham did not look their best from kickoff, making Chelsea’s job much easier. The Blues were thoroughly dominating opposition, and really unlucky not to add a couple of goals after England’s effort.
But domination alone does not make goals. Spurs would show that only a couple of minutes before the end of the first half with horrid defending on a set piece. Kerys Harrop simply ran free at the goal to tie the match at 1-1.
Luckily our fears were quickly allayed by one Sam Kerr. An immediate response out of Pernille Harder’s assist, which was just what we needed to make Emma Hayes’ half-time pep talk much easier.
Second half saw Chelsea pushing for a third goal, and refereeing denying them such with at least three proper penalty calls dismissed and a Sam Kerr goal incorrectly ruled offside. While Spurs did grow into the match and got too close to comfort a couple of times, those were not nearly as dangerous as the chance that got them the lifeline at the end of first half.
Therefore, another three points in the bag for the Blues.
- Several changes made from the lineup that beat this very Spurs team last weekend at the Hive Stadium, starting with goalkeeper where Zecira Musovic returns to the starting lineup following Ann-Katrin Berger’s red card. Captain Magda Eriksson takes a backline slot in place of Aniek Nouwen, Jonna Andersson takes left wing-back duty in place of Niamh Charles, and Ji So-yun is dropped from the lineup so Pernille Harder can join Sam Kerr and Beth England upfront in a 3-4-3 setup.
- Subs are Jessie Fleming for Guro Reiten, and Niamh Charles for Pernille Harder.
- Great to see good attacking intent rewarded with a goal. More of this, please!
- Defending on Spurs’ goal was just baffling. Really need to improve on these plays so we don’t get punished by better teams.
- In a night where everything could go wrong given our finishing and horrific WSL refereeing, we should be quite glad we got all three points from this encounter.
- Next up: Birmingham City away in the second-to-last WSL match of the season.