Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United: James hat-trick sends Chelsea three points clear


Chelsea maintained their record of having never lost to Manchester United in the Women’s Super League, winning seven times and drawing once

Lauren James scored a hat-trick as Chelsea regained their three-point advantage at the top of the Women’s Super League with a convincing victory over Manchester United.

James set the Blues on course for victory after just five minutes, peeling off her marker to find space before knocking the ball past Mary Earps at the back post.

Chelsea were in control against a United side who struggled to get going and James soon doubled their lead, expertly controlling a long Nathalie Bjorn delivery before thrashing home a first-time finish.

United failed to threaten the Chelsea goal as the hosts dominated the ball, but they were handed a lifeline when Hayley Ladd pulled one back before the break.

Ladd’s goal reinvigorated the visitors and they emerged from half-time with momentum in their favour as Ella Toone and Lucia Garcia both missed chances to draw the scores level.

But James punished United for failing to find a way back and she netted her third in the 85th minute after being found behind the United backline by a well-weighted Sjoeke Nusken through ball.

Defeat means the Red Devils are now 10 points behind Chelsea in the table, while the Blues are three points ahead of second-placed Arsenal.

James guides Chelsea to important victory

Emma Hayes’ side are chasing a fifth successive Women’s Super League title and they’re well on track to realise their ambitions.

It was once again the work of James – who leads the division’s scoring standings with 10 goals from 11 games – that helped them to victory as she intelligently ran behind the United defence and drew away defenders to open gaps for her team-mates.

Chelsea will be without the services of star striker Sam Kerr for the rest of the season after she suffered an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury, but their attacking prowess remained evident even in her absence.

James’ efforts resulted in all three goals but they were definitely not Chelsea’s only avenue of attack, with Johanna Rytting Kaneryd consistently getting the better of the United defenders as she cut inside from the right.

They were impressive in defence, too, even when United grew into the game, with Bjorn immediately slotting in well alongside Kadeisha Buchanan and looking assured at centre-back on her league debut after joining from Everton.

More to follow.

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Chelsea Women

  1. Squad number24Player nameHampton

  2. Squad number12Player nameLawrence

  3. Squad number26Player nameBuchanan

  4. Squad number39Player nameBjörn

  5. Squad number21Player nameCharles

  6. Squad number8Player nameLeupolz

  7. Squad number22Player nameCuthbert

  8. Squad number19Player nameRytting Kaneryd

  9. Squad number10Player nameJames

  10. Squad number11Player nameReiten

  11. Squad number2Player nameFishel

  1. Squad number6Player nameNüsken

  2. Squad number7Player nameCarter

  3. Squad number14Player nameKirby

Manchester United Women

  1. Squad number27Player nameEarps

  2. Squad number14Player nameRiviere

  3. Squad number4Player nameLe Tissier

  4. Squad number21Player nameTurner

  5. Squad number6Player nameBlundell

  6. Squad number12Player nameLadd

  7. Squad number10Player nameZelem

  8. Squad number17Player nameGarcía

  9. Squad number7Player nameToone

  10. Squad number11Player nameGalton

  11. Squad number23Player nameGeyse Ferreira

  1. Squad number15Player nameEvans

  2. Squad number16Player nameNaalsund

  3. Squad number22Player nameParris

  4. Squad number28Player nameWilliams

Line-ups

Chelsea Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 24Hampton
  • 12Lawrence
  • 26BuchananSubstituted forCarterat 77′minutes
  • 39Björn
  • 21Charles
  • 8Leupolz
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 19Rytting Kaneryd
  • 10JamesSubstituted forKirbyat 89′minutes
  • 11Reiten
  • 2FishelSubstituted forNüskenat 54′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Musovic
  • 5Ingle
  • 6Nüsken
  • 7Carter
  • 14Kirby
  • 15Périsset
  • 18Mjelde
  • 28Cankovic
  • 33Beever-Jones

Man Utd Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 27Earps
  • 14Riviere
  • 4Le Tissier
  • 21Turner
  • 6BlundellSubstituted forEvansat 90+5′minutes
  • 12LaddBooked at 50minsSubstituted forNaalsundat 69′minutes
  • 10Zelem
  • 17GarcíaSubstituted forParrisat 69′minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 7TooneSubstituted forWilliamsat 81′minutes
  • 11Galton
  • 23da Silva Ferreira

Substitutes

  • 8Guerrero
  • 15Evans
  • 16Naalsund
  • 22Parris
  • 28Williams
  • 91Tullis-Joyce

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