Chelsea FCW picked up a most important victory for the season, putting away Manchester City WFC 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.
After looking the better side for the opening half hour, the Blues were awarded a controversial penalty kick when the referee deemed Ellen White to have handled a driven shot from Erin Cuthbert. Maren Mjelde cooly slotted away the resulting penalty to give the Blues a 1-0 lead at the break.
Chelsea could have put the game away shortly after halftime but missed several opportunities.
After linking up multiple times to no avail, the Fran Kirby — Sam Kerr connection finally struck gold in the 57th minute. Ji So-yun played Kirby through down the right flank and her perfectly placed cross left Kerr little to do but to smash home.
Manchester City responded quickly, receiving a penalty kick of their own, this time awarded after a handball from Millie Bright. Chloe Kelly made no mistake from the penalty spot, but the Blues responded just six minutes later when Erin Cuthbert played Fran Kirby through on goal.
Ellie Roebuck rushed from her goal line to pressure Kirby, but Fran was cool and collected as she rounded the onrushing keeper, before rolling into the net to seal a 3-1 result.
- Starting XI: Berger, Andersson, Bright, Eriksson, Mjelde, Leupolz, Cuthbert, Ji, Harder, Kirby, Kerr
- Substitutes: England for Harder, Charles for Kerr, Ingle for Ji
- Massive shoutout to Erin Cuthbert who covered every blade of grass in Kingsmeadow. Her relentless energy and toughness was on display all afternoon. She won the ball in dangerous areas and made City players uncomfortable. With all the world class talent in the squad, Cuthbert’s tenacity may be as valuable as a trait as any for the Blues.
- The center back pairing of Bright and Eriksson sure does spoil us. For the second consecutive match, the Chelsea defense made an explosive attack look very ordinary. Fullbacks Maren Mjelde and especially Jonna Andersson played important parts in building the attack.
- After beginning the season brightly, Fran Kirby put in another tremendous performance. Not only did she score and assist, but she setup several other great chances that should have been put away. If Sam Kerr can finish her chances more consistently, the Kirby-Kerr connection could be absolutely deadly.
- Pernille Harder was lively, particularly in the first half but has yet to look her very best since joining the Blues. She may have been fortunate to have avoided giving away a penalty but thankfully VAR has yet to cast it’s pall across the WSL.
- Ann-Katrin Berger appeared to be hobbling late in the match but was able to complete the 90 minutes. Hopefully Emma Hayes will have good news regarding a potential knock.
- Next up: Chelsea’s next match was scheduled to be October 17th against Aston Villa, but that match has been postponed after a member of the Villa squad tested positive for COVID-19. The Blues next scheduled match is against Tottenham on Nov. 4th in a Continental Cup group stage match.