Sunderland Women are Championship upstarts, sitting second place in the league and only two points away from promotion to the Women’s Super League. So it’s no surprise there’s a big gap between them and the reigning WSL champions.
This was clear from kick-off. The Blues had no difficulties in finding spaces in their defence and easily infiltrated the Lasses’ area several times in the first 10 minutes. There was only a break in this flux of attacks when one of the assistant referees fell on the touch line due to injury.
The most Sunderland could muster after the short break was a corner kick. Otherwise it was Chelsea all over them until Sjoeke Nüsken got our opening goal with a simple header.
Nüsken’s goal didn’t lead to Chelsea backing off. They knew they could build a much larger advantage given how often they were getting into dangerous areas in the box. But we did lack composure in front of the goal, with several chances going missing.
We could have ended the half-time with a rather disappointing 1-0 lead after missing the target so many times. Nüsken had a different idea.
Could Chelsea do more in the second half? They certainly could, as Aggie Beever-Jones almost immediately showed with a goal of her own.
But once Chelsea got the third goal, we immediately entered “cruise control”. Sunderland made Zecira Musovic sweat a bit between the posts, but there were little chance of Sunderland mustering enough upfront to ever threaten our solid lead.
Of course Chelsea could still squeeze another goal just for good measure. Fran Kirby did so effortlessly.
And then came the fifth, again via Kirby.
- Maika Hamano gets her first ever start!
- As expected, even with a starting eleven almost completely rotated from top to bottom, the Blues easily dominated Sunderland in the first half.
- Sjoeke Nüsken can play almost anywhere on the pitch, and score goals to boot!
- Maika’s technique is a sight to behold. Whoever takes over from Emma needs to optimize that natural talent of hers.
- Beever-Jones can only score bangers.
- Fran Kirby’s masterclass with two goals and two assists today.
- Through to the semifinal, we go!
- Next up: Crystal Palace at home in the Women’s FA Cup fifth round.