Chelsea win WSL title after Sam Kerr brace as Man Utd miss Champions League
CHELSEA 4-2 MAN UTD: Chelsea won the Women’s Super League title after Sam Kerr scored an impressive brace to help Emma Hayes’ side recover from a 2-1 defeat at Kingsmeadow
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Chelsea won a third consecutive Women’s Super League title on Sunday afternoon after beating Manchester United.
A brace from Sam Kerr helped the Blues bounce back from a 2-1 deficit at half-time to win 4-2 at Kingsmeadow. Chelsea’s title rivals Arsenal also won on Sunday, beating West Ham 2-0 at Victoria Road to finish just a point behind the champions.
Chelsea started the day a point clear at the top of the WSL and knew a win over United would confirm the title. Easier said than done, however, as the Red Devils were aiming to qualify for the Champions League for the first time.
It promised to be a tough afternoon, but Blues boss Emma Hayes insisted her team had “no pressure” ahead of the game. She would have been forgiven for changing her mind early on as United’s Martha Thomas nodded after a superb Katie Zelem free-kick.
That put Arsenal top of the WSL on goal difference, but only a fool would assume that was the end of the drama. Just minutes later, Erin Cuthbert smashed a loose ball to equalize for the Blues.
Silence fell on Victoria Road as the news broke, but that silence was quickly broken when Arsenal’s Beth Mead went into the box under a challenge from Hawa Cissoko. Referee Emily Heaslip rightly waved on.
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The Gunners returned to the top of WSL when a deflected volley from Ella Toone slammed into Ann-Katrin Berger’s net to restore United’s lead. If Hayes didn’t feel the pressure before, she did now.
Despite what happened at Kingston upon Thames, Arsenal were unable to find a way past the Hammers at Victoria Road. They had 10 shots on goal in the first half while West Ham didn’t challenge Manuela Zinsberger once. Jonas Eidevall needed more from his title chasers.
Just like Hayes. Chelsea needed a hero in the second half… and Kerr was happy to fight back and make the difference. The FWA Footballer of the Year made it 2-2 with a magical moment when he volleyed his left foot into the top corner.
Then Chelsea took the lead for the first time in the game when Guro Reit completed a low cross from Pernille Harder. The Gunners responded with their first goal of the afternoon thanks to Stina Blackstenius’ clean finish.
Arsenal put more pressure on the Blues thanks to Steph Catley’s excellent goal to put Eidevall’s side comfortably 2-0 up. Few at Victoria Road thought there was a chance of a West Ham comeback, such was Arsenal’s dominance.
But their lead didn’t matter as Kerr confirmed Chelsea’s title with a bold long-range shot. After noticing goaltender Mary Earps going off her line, she controlled the ball on her chest, turned and found the back of the net with supreme confidence.
After that, there were no more twists in the story. Kerr’s stunner was the perfect ending to an exciting WSL final.
Man Utd have been denied a Champions League spot
United’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time were slim ahead of Sunday’s final round of games. They were on course for third place until last month’s game against Aston Villa, when they lost two points in a goalless draw.
City’s 4-0 win over Leicester that same day put Gareth Taylor’s side in third place, leaving United to beat Chelsea on the final day and Reading to a surprise home win over City to secure a place in Europe’s biggest competition.
For a while that seemed possible. City failed to beat Reading in the first 30 minutes as the Red Devils established a 2-1 lead over Chelsea. But United’s hopes were dashed when Lauren Hemp put City ahead in the 33rd minute.
From then on, stopping their opponents was always a big task for Reading. City won 4-0 and confirmed their place in the Champions League. Marc Skinner’s team has now finished fourth for three consecutive years. Your time will surely come.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/breaking-chelsea-win-wsl-arsenal-26905065 Chelsea win WSL title after Sam Kerr brace as Man Utd miss Champions League