For several reasons, Chelsea Women are in a stage where their statistical domination doesn’t really translate into on-pitch dominance. We are generally able to squeeze wins out of whatever chaos the Blues are producing against opponents of varied quality, but the performances themselves are nail-biters from beginning to end.
Today’s match against Brighton at Kingsmeadow was no different. Very early on Chelsea simply allowed Brighton to build up play and score an early goal, even if it was likely offside, via Pauline Bremer.
This allowed the Seagulls to become tortoises, much thanks to goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley’s incredible performance between the posts. We hit the target several times with good shots in the first half, but the shot-stopper decided she was going to have the best performance of her life today.
Luckily midfielder Sjoeke Nüsken had different plans today. After so many attempts from us, the new signing from Eintracht Frankfürt got us the tying goal just before half-time.
Heading into the tunnels at 1-1 was a boon for Chelsea. We were still quite chaotic and Brighton got a few close shaves as a result. But upfront we now knew Baggaley wouldn’t be able to keep up her stellar performance, especially if we just put more bodies in the box to counter their packaged defending.
That’s when Nüsken comes into play again. On minute 52 Ève Périsset starts the counterattack and it meets Sam Kerr. The striker is selfless, assisting Nüsken for a second goal against Brighton.
As Brighton attempted to find a tying goal, they opened up further and gifted Chelsea more room to attack. In one of those plays Sam Kerr assisted Nüsken for a second time, with the German midfielder completing a hat-trick for the Blues in the same match where she got her first ever goal for the team.
Kerr left the pitch for Mia Fishel while Nüsken was kept on. The decision did pay off a few minutes later when Nüsken provided the assist to Aggie Beever-Jones score her first ever Chelsea goal after several years as a youth player in Cobham.
Brighton did manage to find a consolation goal via Elizabeth Terland on minute 90. But from that point on it was all a matter of keeping the ball on our feet and away from danger, just so we could take the three points home.
- Starts for Kadeisha Buchanan and Ève Périsset in a 3-4-3, with Niamh Charles and the French international as wing-backs.
- Subs are Johanna Rytting Kaneryd for Kadeisha Buchanan, Jelena Cankovic for Fran Kirby, Jessie Fleming for Lauren James, Aggie Beever-Jones for Sophie Ingle, and Mia Fishel for Sam Kerr.
- Amazing display from Sjoeke Nüsken today. She was all over the pitch and it showed with her goals and assist.
- Great to see Aggie Beever-Jones getting her first ever first-team goal for Chelsea. Hopefully the first of many!
- If this team stop allowing tricky teams into getting openers, we will be unstoppable.
- Next up: Aston Villa away in the Women’s Super League.