The new year has not been kind to Chelsea fans so far. While the men’s team has looked increasingly like a group of beleaguered soldiers after months of heavy shelling and midnight ambushes, the Chelsea Ladies have discerned that Manchester City are every bit the favorites in the women’s game as well.
Following a three-week break over the holiday season, Chelsea resumed play in the WSL by, unlike the men’s team, putting Arsenal in their appropriate place (fourth) with a stout 3-2 victory at home. The following weekend however, the Blues recorded their first loss on English soil this season, getting eliminated, just like the men’s team, from the League Cup semifinals, as the aforementioned Manchester City juggernaut came to town. The Blues succumbed to a 19th-minute goal by City new signing Nadia Nadim (formerly of the Portland Thorns in the NWSL). It was just the third time Chelsea LFC had failed to win a match this season, including the second leg at Bayern in the Champions League where they still advanced on aggregate.
A fourth would soon follow, but not before a narrow 1-0 win over a struggling Everton side in the league. It was Jonna Andersson’s debut, and the new defender bagged a late strike to keep all three points with the Blues.
That Sunday struggle was followed by a Thursday throw-down, once again versus Manchester City, once again at home, this time in the league. This was the postponed match from before Christmas, and this time, the two titans of the women’s game in England fought to a scoreless standstill. Momentum shifted throughout the match, with both proverbial fighters taking knock-out punches but staying up and continuing to battle, though Chelsea were perhaps unlucky to not find a breakthrough at the end. Chelsea can be somewhat pleased with the point as it was the first time all season that Manchester City failed to win (they had come in on a 19-match winning streak in all competitions), but the Blues thus remain two points off the pace in the WSL.
Up next, Chelsea face the London Bees away in the FA Women’s Cup on Sunday at 2 pm GMT. There won’t be any television coverage, so look out for live tweets from @ChelseaLFC.