Following a lengthy layoff from league action, Chelsea FCW returned to the WSL in winning fashion Sunday afternoon. The Blues handed Everton Women their first loss in the league and moved to second in the table, two points off London rivals Arsenal.
Neither side saw many great first half chances but Ji So-yun made the most of hers. Bethany England pressed Everton keeper Sandy MacIver well to block an attempted clearance. It fell to Ji on the edge of the box who did well to chest down and coolly slot home. A second half brace from Bethany England put to bed what had been a tightly contested match. Melanie Leupolz set up England’s first before Beth was on hand to head home a parried save on an Erin Cuthbert attempt. Pernille Harder put the ribbon on the victory with an exquisite finish. After playing a one-two with England on the edge of the box, she drove a left footed shot across goal and into the top corner; a truly stunning way to finish the match!
- Starting XI: Berger, Mjelde, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson, Leupolz, Ingle, Ji, Cuthbert, Harder, England; Substitutions: Kerr for Cuthbert (73), Fleming for Ji (79), Carter for Andersson (86).
- Another clean sheet for the Blues as solid defensive team play gave Ann-Katrin Berger little to do. The backline of Chelsea has looked more settled and consistent than their attacking counterparts.
- Melanie Leupolz has really settled into her role in the team. It isn’t easy to come into this squad and immediately become a nailed-on starter, but she’s done just that. Her footwork to setup England’s first goal was magical. She would have earned a penalty kick had England not finished her chance.
- Izzy Christiansen played well for Everton and had their best chance of the match but she couldn’t connect with her attempted first time finish from close range.
- How was Rikke Sevecke not subbed off immediately following her head collision with Bethany England? Sevecke was clearly woozy and in a lot of pain. Concussions are serious business and I can’t believe she was allowed to continue.
- That finish from Harder was incredible. She has tools in her bag most players can only dream of!
- After struggling to find consistent match action, Bethany England did well to show she deserves more time. She scored two, assisted another and was a constant threat to the Everton backline.
- Next up: Don’t miss the action next Sunday, November 15th as the Blues travel to Meadow Park for a massive WSL tie against Arsenal.