If you’ve listened to Emma Hayes over the past couple seasons, you’ve undoubtedly heard her say “ruthless” several times. It’s a core tenet she tries to instill in every iteration of Chelsea.
Many good teams post big scorelines against “not-as-good” teams, but Hayes’ Chelsea in full ruthlessness can pile up a variety of goals in a variety of ways before the opposition can even begin to figure things out. Think the 4-1 win over Arsenal in January of 2020, in which the Blues went up 3-0 between the 10th and 20th minute; or the 2020-21 League Cup semifinal when West Ham were down 4-0 by the 27th; or the Final win over Bristol when Chelsea were up 4-0 by the 38th; or this season’s win over Manchester United when the Red Devils found themselves down 3-0 in the 41st.
Yesterday, away in Switzerland to face Servette FCCF for the first time ever, Chelsea delivered another masterpiece via masterclass. The Swiss 2020-21 Nationalliga A champions faced a barrage of Chelsea attacks from all angles that saw them concede the first goal in the 8th, and the sixth goal in the 38th minute. Another was added early in the second half to complete the 7-0 trouncing (and take the Blues top of the group thanks to Juventus only drawing with Wolfsburg).
Let’s look at the meanest ways Chelsea scored against Servette during this 30-minute romp.
After Melanie Leupolz opened the scoring, Chelsea’s second goal came in the 16th minute courtesy of another sublime connection between Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby, a.k.a. “Kerrby”.
Kerr drops deep with her back towards goal and calls for the ball to her feet, dragging two defenders with her. Kirby starts a diagonal run into the space and Kerr flicks the ball between the two defenders rushing to close her down. Mean.
Kerrby struck again for Chelsea’s fourth just a few minutes later.
Chelsea casually work the ball up the pitch, never giving a hint of the danger they’re about to unleash. When the ball is played to Kirby, both Reiten and Fleming make runs to keep as many as four defenders focused on our left side, and all facing away from Kerr in the middle. Sinister.
In between the two Kerrby strikes, Kerr snuck in another one, for Chelsea’s third of the night, and perhaps our most devious of all. It reminded me of the villains in The Dark Knight Trilogy in the sense that every one of their plans was meant to torture, torment and eventually break Bruce Wayne in some way.
Unfortunately for Servette, this was not fiction — and they do not have Christian Bale’s chiseled chin, a Luscious Fox, or an underground garage of off-the-books military-grade weaponry (at least that we know of).
So instead what happens is a passing sequence between Kerr, Reiten, Fleming and Leupolz spanning the length of the pitch, featuring three long diagonals and a cutback for a simple roll into an unguarded net — all in 18 seconds. Some people just want to watch the world burn.
“Hey bud, I see you’re having a rough match. Be a shame if I scored from an impossible angle and made it worse”
-Jessie Fleming, probably