Tag Archives: Emma Hayes

FA WSL round up: the blues bounce back to defeat london rivals

Chelsea bounced back from their loss to Brighton at the weekend with a thumping 3-0 win over Arsenal. Pernille Harder with two goals and a late third from Fran Kirby giving Emma Hayes’ side a three point lead at the top.

Elsewhere, meanwhile, Brighton carried on the momentum from their victory over Chelsea by beating West Ham by a goal to nil.

The second City derby due to be played was called off due to a frozen pitch, as was Tottenham match with Bristol City.

Chelsea 3 – 0 Arsenal

The perfect response from the champions after a shock defeat to Brighton, as they returned to winning ways.

Chelsea pressed high up the pitch early on and and Fran Kirby was able to win the ball in the corner. Linking up with Harder and Ji, Kirby had a shot on the turn but it went straight at Arsenal keeper Williams.

Chelsea high press put the Arsenal defence under pressure that Arsenal struggled to deal with. Wubben-Moy poor pass left Williams in trouble and her clearance fell to Melanie Leupolz who’s long range effort went well wide of the goal, as Williams scrambled to get back.

Arsenal had a great chance to take the lead but Miedema’s shot was well saved by Berger. Danielle van de Donk won the ball from Millie Bright and slipped in Miedema who worked her way into the box. Miedema’s left footed shot was met by the outstretched leg of Berger.

Fran Kirby went even closer to opening the deadlock with her strike being well saved down low by Williams. Getting the ball on the right Kirby cut inside and played a 1-2 with Leupolz and hit a first time effort towards the bottom corner. Williams down low to her right got a strong hand on the ball to turn it away.

The opening came three minutes after the break from Harder. Ji winning the ball and Kirby giving it to Harder who shot from outside the box. The ball bouncing just in front of the keeper and in to the bottom corner, for Harder’s fifth WSL goal of the season.

Kirby and Harder combined for Chelsea’s second. Kirby’s cut back inside the box was struck first time by Harder in to roof of the net.

Katie McCabe’s deflected effort almost pulled one back for Arsenal, but Berger at stretch was able to push the ball away from goal.

Kirby added a third on 90 minutes, coolly sliding the ball past Williams to make it 3-0.

Emma Hayes spoke after the game saying:

“Everybody knows what the standards are at Chelsea and it’s not always easy to live with.

“The pressure is relentless, the expectation is relentless, but it’s a place for the best to thrive, and only the best, with the highest standards, keep this dream machine flying.

“Those are my demands and I won’t compromise on that. To see the response from the team shows where the team wants to go.”

Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro:

“I think if we analyse this game too much it will drive us crazy because there wasn’t a lot wrong with that other than they scored three goals and we scored none.

“It’s very hard to keep analysing these games because we play a bit more pragmatic and then they hurt us another way – they are a very, very good team with some powerful players and it’s the quality of them that has unlocked us today.

“Mathematically there is still a lot to play for us, but sometimes realistically you have to set yourself different targets. We have a Champions League spot to play for and two games in hand to help get us there.”

Brighton 1 – 0 West Ham United

Brighton got back to back wins for the first time this season with a 1-0 win over West Ham. Aileen Whelan’s first half goal helping Brighton victory.

Brighton started brightly, playing with confidence but were unable to create a real threat to Mackenzie Arnold’s goal.

West Ham could have gone ahead as Laura Vetterlein’s header was cleared on the line by Maya Le Tissier.

Arnold had to be at her best as Nora Heroum’s looping effort headed towards the top corner. The West Ham keeper quick to react and tip over.

Brighton got the lead thanks to Whelan’s outstretched leg. Megan Connolly’s corner wasn’t cleared and flicked to Whelan who’s outstretched right leg sent the ball back across goal and into the net.

West Ham failed to create any real opportunities in the second half and Brighton had chances to make it two, but the game ended 1-0

Brighton manager Hope Powell after the game said:

“Everyone did their jobs, which meant they didn’t score and we held out for all three points.

“We’ve done a lot of work on being hard to beat and it gives us the best chance of winning – if we stop conceding goals, then we’re in it.

“The players looked a bit tired towards the end of the match after Sunday’s game but they have really responded well, which takes off some of the pressure in that bottom half of the table.”

West Ham manager Olli Harder:

“Our performance was characterised by individuals’ inability to positively contribute in key moments offensively and defensively.

“The application and effort was there again so it’s difficult to criticise, but it’s quality in key moments that determines games and again we had the opportunity to show that quality but we didn’t do that.

“The missed chances and opportunities each game are fine margins and details. We’re still in this position and we’ve got 10 games to put ourselves in a better position than we’re in at the moment.”

The WSL continues over the weekend with the Manchester derby on Friday. Kick off at 19:00 and Live on BT Sport. Three matches will take place on Sunday with Aston Villa v Arsenal, Reading v Everton and Bristol City v Chelsea.

Chelsea and Bristol City Reach Conti Cup Final

Chelsea will face Bristol City in years Conti Cup Final to be played on March 14th. A Pernille Harder hat trick helped Chelsea to a six nil win over West Ham, while Bristol City beat Championship side Leicester thanks to a Kiera Skeels goal.

This will be Bristol’s first ever appearance in the final where they will face holders Chelsea. The final will be played at Watford’s Vicarage Road.

Chelsea 6 v 0 West Ham United

Chelsea took an early lead as Ji So-Yun played Harder in the box and the Chelsea player provided a deft finish after just four minutes.

Chelsea had a second after a quarter of an hour thanks to another Sophie Ingle long range goal. West Ham attempt to clear but the ball dropped to Welsh International Ingle, she brings the ball down and her right, then shoots with her left squeezing the ball under Mackenzie Arnold.

The game was essentially over as Chelsea scored two in two minutes. First Harder got her second as West Ham tried to play out form the back, a poor pass from keeper Arnold allowed Harder to capitalise. Then Beth England scored from Fran Kirby’s cross from the right.

Chelsea kept the pressure on during the second half. Arnold making good saves from Kirby and England. West Ham did have a few chances, the best falling to Adriana Leon. Leon found herself clear in the box but a combination of good defending from Magdalena Eriksson and Ann-Katrin Berger keeping her out.

Fran Kirby made it five for The Blues. Kirby’s attempted lob after being played in by Maren Mjelde, was tipped away by Arnold but Kirby was quickest to it for a tap in. Harder completed her hat-trick four minutes from time with a stunning right footed shot from the edge of the area.

Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes told Chelseafc.com:

“I’m really pleased, getting to finals is no easy achievement and the preparation of the team to keep finding new levels in themselves is a real testament to the work that is put in day in day out from everyone in this environment.

“To dispatch a very good team in the manner that we did with five chances and four goals in the first half is reflective of the confidence that’s in the camp at the moment.

They are hungry, everybody is hungry for trophies and we know it’s ours to lose because of the fact we’re holders of the competition and we’re really looking forward to being back in another final.

“I’m really looking forward to a brilliant stadium and another showcase opportunity for women’s football.

“I’m so impressed by my players, I’m so impressed by the collective and the hunger, the will, the ambition.”

She also spoke about speculation around her and the vacant post at AFC Wimbledon:

“I’ve never spoken to Wimbledon and I’ve never been offered a job by Wimbledon. The whole question that was asked about me is about my own team and let me be clear about this.

“My words were this: It is not a step down to coach Chelsea Women’s team, it’s an insult to suggest otherwise but watching the reaction across the media in the last 24 hours manipulating my words, turning headlines and using inflammatory language to infer that I’ve insulted AFC Wimbledon, far from it.

“What a wonderful club they are, they are local to our community and one that’s dear to everybody’s hearts at Chelsea, so to infer that I’ve insulted them is a misrepresentation across the media and that needs to be made clear.

“I sincerely hope that AFC Wimbledon find the right candidate for their football club and the whole point about them not being able to afford me is nothing to do with money but everything to do with the fact I’m in the best job in the world and no amount of money is going to tempt me away from that.

“We talk of women in football like we are not entitled to the same opportunity and the same access and my final piece on it is that all I want is to normalise the conversation on it so if the entire universe is talking about it then hallelujah, let’s make sure we have it more often and let’s make sure we talk about it without feeling unbelievably threatened that everybody has a place in football.”

Bristol City 1 v 0 Leicester City

The other semi-final saw Bristol City beat Championship leaders Leicester City.

Lachante Paul crafted the best chance after 20 minutes, her shot from the Leicester left going straight into the gloves of Baggaley.

In a tight first half without many great chances Bristol went closest with Charlie Wellings firing a shot goalwards which was well saved by Levell.

Charlie Devlin made a shooting chance for herself after skipping around two Bristol players, but she could only shoot straight at Sophie Baggaley. At half time all square in a close game.

Leicester had the first real chance after the break as Paige Bailey-Gayle forced Baggaley to be at full stretch to turn the ball away from goal. Leicester were able to recycle the ball but were only able to put a shot well over the bar.

Bristol found the break-through after 72 minutes. Ebony Salmon’s cross finding the head of Kiera Skeels whos’ flick towards goal wasn’t held by Leicester keeper Levell and found its way into the goal.

Leicester pressed to get a equaliser but Bristol held on to make the final. Bristol City and Leicester may switch leagues not season but a historic final awaits for Bristol and maybe it could help their WSL survival.

Bristol City manager Matt Bread told Bcfc.com:

“I’m absolutely delighted. It was a tough game – there wasn’t much in it between the two teams,

“I thought we were excellent in the second half, I felt we dominated the game in the sense that we didn’t let them get into their rhythm. We didn’t create many chances ourselves, but semi-finals are won on moments like tonight with Kiera scoring from a set-play.

“The girls have worked so hard yet again across the 90 minutes to make sure they have come away with the win.

“Since coming in the group have been brilliant. I said to them at half-time that they’re the closest group I have worked with in terms of togetherness and it’s fantastic that they have been rewarded with a place in the cup final tonight.”

Fran Kirby becomes Chelsea’s record goal scorer

England and Chelsea player Fran Kirby became the West London club’s all time record goal scorer following an impressive 5-0 win over Portuguese side Benfica in the Women’s Champions League Last 32 first leg. 

The occasion also proved to be a landmark for Chelsea’s Swedish International defender Magdalena Eriksson, who made her 100thappearance for the Women Super League Champions. 

Indeed, after a season away from Europe’s elite competition the West London side were certainly keen to make up for lost time and were ahead inside 80 seconds thanks to Kirby’s landmark goal. 

Kirby was able to turn in a low cross-delivered by the club’s record signing and Danish International Pernille Harder.  This ensured that Kirby would take her goal tally for the club to 69 and surpassed the previous record she shared with Eniola Aluko. 

The Blues soon doubled their advantage through a powerful header from Millie Bright who turned in a Guro Reiten free kick.  

The new record goal scorer, Kirby then added a third, calmly slotting the ball past the Benfica keeper Vilao. This in turn took the 27-year-old’s record tally for the Blues to 70.   

Reiten subsequently completed her hat trick of assists just before half-time, setting up Harder with another impressive set piece delivery. 

The impressive Beth England added a fifth shortly after half time with a clinical left footed finish, which remarkably marked England’s first goal in the Champions League. 

Reaction

Following the game the Blues new all time record scorer Kirby said:

 “I’m really happy and to overtake someone like Eni Aluko is really special.

“She’s a special person to me and I think it means a lot more because I know what a good person she is and what a great player she was for this club so I’m really proud.”

When asked about what some of her favourite goals for the club are, Kirby said:

I scored a good one against Liverpool at Staines. I chopped it a few times and managed to find the corner so that one always sticks out for me because you are always able to remember those goals when you are able to do a little bit of skill.

“The one away to Bayern Munich, I will never forget that goal. I think we was defending for 90 minutes of that game so to be able to get that goal was really special.

Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes, meanwhile, said:

“Once we settled into the game we produced a good performance in the first half, we got the fifth goal in the second half and then I made some changes and I thought that disrupted the rhythm a little bit.”

When asked about Kirby becoming the Club’s record scorer, Hayes added:

“She knows what I think about her and she knows with the performances she keeps putting in that the awards will come for her whatever they are.”

Elsewhere in the Women’s Champions League Last 32 first leg ties, meanwhile, Manchester City were able to come back to win 2-1 against Swedish side Goteborg thanks to goals from Georgia Stanway and American International Sam Mewis. There was disappointment, however, for the other British side in the competition, Glasgow City who ended up losing 2-1 away at Sparta Prague. 

What Next?

The second leg ties are set to take place next week, with the Blues hosting Benfica at Kingsmedow on Wednesday.  They will, however, be in action before then in the WSL when they travel to face Brighton & Hove Albion. 

Manchester City, meanwhile, have their return leg on Wednesday afternoon but have a tricky game in the WSL to negotiate at the weekend as they host title rivals Arsenal. 

Magdalena Eriksson commits to Chelsea Women

Chelsea Women’s club captain Magdalena Eriksson has committed her long-term future to last season’s 2019/20 WSL Champions. 

Eriksson has signed a two-and-a- half-year contract extension, keeping her with the West London side until 2023. 

The Swedish International joined the West London side in 2017, following a four-year spell at Linkopings in Sweden and has developed into a leader on and off the pitch.

Her impressive leadership persuaded Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes to make Eriksson club captain ahead of the 2019/20 campaign. 

During her first season as skipper, the 27 year-old defender led her side to a domestic double, winning the Continental Tyres League Cup before being crowned Barclays FA Women’s Super League Champions, just ahead of Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City. 

Speaking to the Chelsea website, Eriksson said:

“It means everything to me to be at this club, there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be.”

Eriksson continued:

“The last three years have been the absolute biggest of my career.

“I’m really happy, the way I’ve developed as a player as well and as a leader, getting the armband last year has developed me as a person and a footballer a lot.” 

Chelsea’s General Manager Paul Green meanwhile added:

“Magda led by example both on and off the pitch and has formed a terrific partnership with Millie Bright over the last few years. 

“We look forward to many more successful years with Magda at the club.” 

The Blues currently sit in third place in the WSL table, having won four and drawn one of their first five games. 

The defending champions, however, face a potentially tricky trip to fierce London rivals Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 1-0 defeat to Manchester United last weekend.   

Womens super league weekend preview

The Women’s Super League has been awash with action across its opening three weekends with Arsenal and Everton setting the early pace with their perfect records.

Here’s your preview for the fourth round of matches including the huge clash between two teams full of world stars, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United 10/10 12.30pm

Spurs go in search of their first win of the season as they host Manchester United at the Hive Stadium to get the weekend’s fixtures underway at 12.30pm on Saturday.

Having won their previous two league matches, United were well beaten by Championship side Liverpool in their opening Continental Tyres Cup match midweek and will be looking to bounce back with a win.

Brighton v Arsenal 11/10 12.30pm

Sunday’s early kick off sees seventh place Brighton welcome table topping Arsenal to the Broadfield Stadium in what looks to be a difficult task for the south coast club.

The Gunners have started the 2020/21 season in scintillating form and currently occupy the top three goal scorers in the league with Dutch midfielder Jill Roord setting the pace with six goals in the first three games.

Everton v West Ham 11/10 13.00pm

Everton are the only other side with a 100% record, not unlike the men’s side, and will be hopeful of continuing in the same vein at Walton Hall Park.

New signing’s Claire Emslie and Hayley Raso have spearheaded the Toffee’s strong start with two goals apiece. Whilst The Hammers need to recapture their form after back to back losses in the Super League.

Reading v Birmingham City 11/10 14.00pm

The Royals will be hoping for home advantage as they look to move up the table following an improvement in their performances of late leading to consecutive wins and a well earned place in sixth position.

For Birmingham City, manager Carla Ward knows her side need a victory sooner rather than later following a dismal start to their season has seen the midlands club lose all three of their league fixtures.

Chelsea v Manchester City 11/10 14.30pm

Perhaps the clash of the weekend as the defending champions Chelsea host the much fancied Man City at Kingsmeadow to round off the weekends action. Both sides have taken seven points from the opening three matches and will be hopeful of cutting the gap to the leaders.

Two teams brimmed full of star quality, Chelsea, managed by Emma Hayes, will look to the likes of Fran Kirby, Magdalena Eriksson and new arrival Pernille Harder to be pivotal to the home sides chances.

For Man City boss Gareth Taylor, he will be looking towards star signing Rose Lavelle to fire them to victory. Forward Georgia Stanway is the sides leading scorer this term with two goals from the first three games.

WSL 2

Lewes v Blackburn Rovers, Durham v Crystal Palace, Leicester City v Liverpool, Coventry City v Sheffield United, London City v London Bees.