Chelsea win fourth successive WSL title

It all came down to the final day of the FA Women’s Super League to decide both promotion and relegation, as Reading hosted Chelsea on a warm afternoon at the Select Car Leasing Stadium. A win for the Royals would keep them in the top flight if Leicester were to drop points. However, three points for Chelsea would see them lift the trophy once again – regardless of the Manchester United result.

REA: Moloney; Evans, Cooper, Hendrix; Mukandi, Moore, Vanhaevermaet, Mayi Kith; Harries, Rose, Eikeland

CHE: Berger; Charles, Eriksson, Mjelde, Perisset; Ingle, Cuthbert; Reiten, Harder, James; Kerr

Both teams came out understanding the high-stakes consequences of the afternoon’s game – and Reading tried to get forward early on through Rose, but Chelsea were able to block the danger and keep the game goalless.

Sam Kerr looked to punish the home side when she found herself in a perfect position following a cross into the box from Norwegian international Guro Reiten. However, Kerr’s effort flew over the crossbar – and they’d be hoping that wasn’t going to set the tone of their afternoon.

Harder looked to end her time at Chelsea on a high with a goal as she had an attempted shot, but Moloney produced a great save onto the crossbar to deny her. Magdalena Eriksson looked to get onto the follow up, but it didn’t end up in the back of the net.

After her missed chance earlier on, Kerr made up for it on the seventeenth minute. The Australian put Chelsea deservedly ahead, with a free header flying into the back of the net. As it stood, they would be crowned as the league champions.

Reading looked to fight back however, and Emma Mukandi sent in a lovely ball towards Vanhaevermaet. Unfortunately for the Royals, the midfielder was unable to bring Reading level.

Lauren James looked threatening for Chelsea as she took chances from a reasonable distance – yet it was Guro Reiten who doubled the lead for Emma Hayes’ side. Capitalising on a mistake at the back from Reading’s defence, the forward calmly slotted a tidy finish past the ‘keeper.

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In the second half, Chelsea found themselves with spaces on the right flank, as both Kerr and Reiten found themselves able to get forward. Reading ventured forward primarily through Perry, who replaced Rose in the first half.

After a near chance for Reading, Chelsea looked to add a third after a cross came in from the left but they were unable to do so. Emma Hayes’ side wouldn’t have to wait long for their third goal of the afternoon though, as Sam Kerr provided it just minutes later. Her initial effort struck the post, but she was able to poke the rebound into the back of the net.

A late free-kick for Reading wasn’t enough, and the Royals confirmed their relegation to the FA Women’s Championship. Meanwhile, three points at the Select Car Leasing Stadium confirmed Chelsea as the league champions for the fourth consecutive season – and the celebrations will continue long into the night.

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