Coming off a 7-0 win over sixth-place Everton, it was hard not to expect Chelsea Women to do a demolition job out of Leicester City who sit five places behind the Toffees in the Women’s Super League table. Our 8-0 over the Foxes at their turf last time we met could not be forgotten either.
Quickly Chelsea would confirm their favouritism. Even though Leicester looked much more organized today then they were five months ago and approached our area with danger, the Blues would take only a few minutes to show who’s really boss with a Guro Reiten goal from a Pernille Harder cross.
Gurooo pic.twitter.com/KEK6TIRqR0— CfcwComps (@CompsCfcw) May 10, 2023
The goal could have been a bucket of cold water on Leicester’s hopes and dreams. They however did not act as such, moving lines forward and eventually making risky plays such as letting Erin Cuthbert steal their ball near their area to run and score our second goal.
Erinnnn pic.twitter.com/PCwDT7xjX9— CfcwComps (@CompsCfcw) May 10, 2023
Then the Harder Show would begin, right after its opening act in the Danish attacker’s assist to Guro. Lauren James’ shot at goal was deflected by Leicester keeper Janina Leitzig, and fell on today’s centre-forward to convert her first goal of the day.
Pernille Harder! pic.twitter.com/jeRFujCfmr— CfcwComps (@CompsCfcw) May 10, 2023
Another Harder goal came through in the final minutes of the match. With a beautiful run from midfield to the opposition’s box, the attacker netted a brace and added a fourth for the Blues.
Pernille Harder brace pic.twitter.com/cWjWXlR4Vg— CfcwComps (@CompsCfcw) May 10, 2023
There was time and space for more in the second half, and Lauren James would not miss her opportunity. After almost scoring a beautiful goal with a great dribble in the box and only missing it due to shooting the ball way too high with her left foot, she does the following:
What a finish by James pic.twitter.com/QPWeexyKLK— CfcwComps (@CompsCfcw) May 10, 2023
Lauren’s goal was what manager Emma Hayes needed to take out most of their starters so they could rest for the upcoming FA Cup final against Manchester United. While we were no longer as intense, largely thanks to the heavy rain that started pouring in, the Blues still found space for yet another great goal by Jelena Cankovic just before the final whistle.
What a goal by Cankovic pic.twitter.com/xBqbxpvFwo— CfcwComps (@CompsCfcw) May 10, 2023
- Interesting choices from manager Emma Hayes considering the FA Cup final this weekend, with Pernille Harder starting as a centre-forward and Jess Carter playing central defence alongside captain Magda Eriksson.
- Subs are Jessie Fleming for Pernille Harder, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd for Lauren James, Sophie Ingle for Erin Cuthbert, Alsu Abdullina for Guro Reiten, and Kadeisha Buchanan for Magda Eriksson.
- Welcome back, Kadeisha!
- Guro Reiten and Erin Cuthbert are an unreal duo, even though they no longer “connect” as much as they once did in terms of goals and assists to each other. What a pairing to have in your squad!
- If Pernille Harder does end up leaving Chelsea, whoever her replacement would be will have their work cut out for her.
It is ridiculous to throw out any complaints at a player such as Lauren James, who does so much outside of goals and assists. But there is no escaping that lingering fear that without better finishing, she will not be able to fulfil all the potential she has.
- Never mind. I wrote the above and a minute after that, Lauren scores just to shut us up!
- No ugly goals allowed today, as Jelena Cankovic just showed us before the end of the match.
- Next up: Manchester United in the Women’s FA Cup final, at Wembley.