Kerr Double puts Chelsea on the verge of the WSL title
Sam Kerr’s doubles brought Chelsea back to the top of the Women’s Super League and a crowned championship win thanks to a 2-0 win over Tottenham.
The blues pounded Rebecca Spencer’s goal in the first half, which was dominated by the visitors, but it took 41 minutes to break through.
The WSL’s top scorer scored her 20th goal of the season eight minutes into the second half to give Chelsea a comfortable advantage. After riding another cross, she returned after a header from her own header.
Ann-Katrin Berger was a relative spectator between the visitors’ posts, while Chelsea lost more opportunities to extend their lead when Drew Spence headed the crossbar.
The win over Reading on Sunday will close the women’s Super League title for Emma Hayes’ team.
Noble Kerr leaves fate to Chelsea
Chelsea made five changes following their Champions League semi-final victory three days ago, but there was no lack of understanding from Emma Hayes’ side when Spurs defender Abbie McManus was forced to remove a header from her own goal line early on.
Spence, Sophie Ingle and Riding saved all saves from busy Spencer before Spurs formed their first real chance when Lucy Quinn blocked Magdelena Eriksson from a long ball forward before Berger denied her at the post near half an hour.
The one-way traffic was almost unrepentant, but when the half-time whistle approached Chelsea still hadn’t found a way.
The league’s top scorer, Kerr, couldn’t be denied forever, however. Four minutes before break, she hit Reiten’s low flank and shot at the back post, eventually putting the visitors in front.
Less than two minutes after the break they were within inches when Beth England nodded England’s flank against the crossbar from Spence. Her pillow arrived minutes later when Kerr Reiten’s delivery arrived to test Spencer with another header before burying the ball on the rebound for her 20th goal of the season.
Tottenham needed an answer after showing little in the first 50 minutes and forced a save from Berger when Quinn arrived from the right and shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Hayes’ priority was the fitness of her players before the final day showdown with Reading and the Champions League clash with Barcelona a week later. After the hour, she called the changes that clearly disrupted the flow of the game.
The overworked Spencer had little to do in the final minutes while Rianna Dean shot wide in the volley for the hosts, grateful to hear the full-time whistle after being outdone by their London rivals and now winning just one of their last 11 games.
What the managers said …
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes told BT Sport, “I think if you make five changes you’re naturally bothering something and I always think that players who don’t play a lot are out of the rhythm.
“So it’s easy to expect them to come in and shoot all the cylinders, but the reality is it takes a little while for them to be up to date.
“I thought we created a lot of chances, we just didn’t execute and Becky Spencer kept a few out. The time for the first goal came when we needed it and that calmed everyone.”
Tottenham travel to Birmingham, which they could overtake in the table in their last game of the season on Sunday. Start at 2.30 p.m.
Chelsea host Reading on Sunday in a game that will seal the WSL title with a win. Start at 2.30 p.m.