A barebones Chelsea Women squad in terms of depth thanks to injuries had to take on fellow Women’s Super League title contender Manchester United on the almost opposite situation. But even not in full force the Blues at Kingsmeadow were not afraid to impose themselves and battle for every ball in midfield, making United’s job of staying ahead in the league table much harder than they might have thought.
What should have been Sam Kerr’s first goal of the day from a great Jessie Fleming pass was denied by United goalkeeper Mary Earps. But Earps would not be able to stop a second great pass, this time from Lauren James, to the Australian striker.
BIG GAME DID YOU SAY? WHAT A GOAL SAMMY K! pic.twitter.com/xhzla6bmtl— CfcwComps (@CompsCfcw) March 12, 2023
United would keep the lion’s share of ball retention after Kerr’s opener. But they were not able to find many connections that could lead to proper chances, despite the best efforts of Nikita Parris and Ella Toone against the Millie Bright-Kadeisha Buchanan pairing on a good day.
In the second half, Chelsea dominated early but let United find their footing. However the Red Devils seemingly spent more time faking tough fouls than creating chances to perhaps start a comeback, which is very annoying but still acceptable since we were still in the lead once the final whistle blew.
- Manager Emma Hayes with few options to choose as our injury crisis deepens. The bench itself only has six options in Jelena Musovic, Magda Eriksson, Maren Mjelde, Alsu Abdullina, Jelena Cankovic, and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd.
- Subs are Johanna Rytting Kaneryd for Lauren James, Magda Eriksson for Jessie Fleming, and Maren Mjelde for Niamh Charles.
- Good midfield work by Sophie Ingle and Melanie Leupolz today, with the latter clearly needing a few more games to get herself back on track and in sync with the squad.
- Jessie Fleming’s pass to Sam Kerr deserved a goal.
- Same goes for Lauren James’ pass, which worked out this time around!
- Great effort by Chelsea to not just score the first goal but also keep United at bay to take all three points home with a depleted squad. Still the lack of depth shows how the Blues really need to further revamp themselves in the transfer market this summer.
- Next up: Reading in the FA Cup.