The stoppage time goal by Sam Kerr to snatch all three points from Aston Villa could prove a pivotal moment in the title race. Until that dramatic finish, it had seemed Chelsea were set to drop valuable points with Villa keeper Hannah Hampton becoming the most popular woman in the red part on London. Fortunately, Chelsea got the goal we needed.
The February draw against Arsenal means that if Chelsea get three points from our remaining games-in- hand, all we need to do is match Arsenal’s points total for the remainder of the seasons to secure our third consecutive league title (and fourth in the last five seasons).
However, the chaotic nature of football can turn games-in-hand into pressure-packed near-Finals, as any slippage can feel like even greater defeat. And that’s what the Villa win meant, and that’s why the players celebrated as they did. In order to keep the energy as-is just three days later, we’ll need to consolidate it with yet another three points.
I’m just looking after my mates. Our fans at the 90th minute singing for the team will live with me forever. We’ve got you and you’ve got us. I love my club. https://t.co/6Zc7COyhoB— Emma Hayes OBE (@emmahayes1) March 13, 2022
Date / Time: TODAY, 19.00 GMT; 3:00pm EDT; 12:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Walton Hall Park, Liverpool, UK
Forecast: Clear; 43°F/6°C
How to watch: The FA Player
Everton team news: Everton have had a strange season which began in with a summer building of expectations as they announced new signing after new signing. Then, it all went wrong. They’ve fired two managers this season already and are currently being helmed by a managing duo.
However, though still 9th in a table of only 12, they are currently in their best stretch since late September, which was the last time they won back-to-back league games. Though their performances still may not be inspiring (they gave up 18 shots, 9 on target, to WSL newcomers Leicester City just four days ago), they’ve found ways to grind out their previous two results.
On paper Everton still look a talented squad. Izzy Christiansen, Kenza Dali, Toni Duggan, Hannah Bennison, Anna Anvegard and goalkeeper Sandy MacIver would not look out of place in a top-five squad. Everton just haven’t been able to figure out how to get the best of their many talented players, so let’s hope they remain confused about that for at least another day.
Game day grins! @Mdawg1bright x @PernilleMHarder #CFCW pic.twitter.com/FsZcGMRuta— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) March 16, 2022
Chelsea team news: Suddenly the Blues are in a bit of an injury/COVID-19 crisis, as if not enough was going on. Fran Kirby has been “unwell”, while Magda Eriksson tested positive last week just after she returned to the matchday squad after being out with an ankle injury. Pernille Harder was also not in the squad that faced Villa, though it looks like she’s back with the team now.
Erin Cuthbert and Jessie Fleming returned to the squad versus Villa, and both got late run-outs even though Hayes admitted neither recovered in time to train ahead of the match. With Melanie Leupolz out for the remainder of the season as she prepares to give birth to her first child (congrats to Melly!), Chelsea need both fit and firing to fill the hole in midfield.
Previously: A Sam Kerr brace and goals from Fran Kirby and Bethany England ensured Everton felt the sharp end of a very upset Chelsea (following our controversial 3-2 loss to Arsenal in the season opener).