Chelsea 3-0 Everton: Controversial refereeing steals the show as Chelsea lead the WSL

Following Manchester City’s 2-0 victory over Leicester City earlier this afternoon, reigning champions Chelsea were looking to regain top spot in the Barclays Women’s Super League standings as the most expensive signing in women’s football, Mayra Ramírez, was handed her full debut.

CHE: Hampton; Charles, Björn, Carter, Lawrence; Cuthbert, Leupolz; Reiten, Kaneryd, James; Ramírez

EVE: Brosnan; Payne, Stenevik, Finnigan, Wheeler; Kühl, Vanhaevermaet, Galli; Madsen, Piemonte, Bennison

Having scored the most goals in the Barclays Women’s Super League this season (38), Chelsea unsurprisingly began on the front foot as Erin Cuthbert fired wayward of the mark from distance. However, it would not take the reigning champions long to call Courtney Brosnan into action, as Johanna Rytting Kaneryd forced an instinctive save from the visiting Toffees’ goalkeeper.

Nonetheless, Emma Hayes’ side would break the deadlock via the penalty spot in the 27th minute as Guro Reiten coolly dispatched the ball beyond Brosnan after Mayra Ramírez fell to the ground inside the box after Clare Wheeler clipped the Colombian’s foot while making a clearance.

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Everton would have a clear-cut chance to enter half-time back on level terms, but when presented with a glorious opportunity to restore the scoreline to a level playing field, notably against the run of play at Kingsmeadow, Aurora Galli disappointingly misfired her effort wide of Hannah Hampton’s goal from the far-stick.

Staggeringly undefeated in their last 28 WSL matches after netting the game’s opening goal, Chelsea came close to doubling their lead shortly after the hour-mark but the normally reliable Lauren James – who had scored 11 goals in her last six league matches – uncustomarily missed the target. However, in a carbon copy of the 27th minute, the Blues were awarded another penalty as Wheeler again brought down Ramírez – leaving Reiten to fire home her second of the evening from the same place as her first.

Unlike in the opening quarter-hour, Cuthbert was able to make her mark on the scoresheet with seven minutes left in regular time, as the Chelsea captain capped off a clinical five-pass team move with a powerfully hit finish beyond Brosnan to send her side back to the top of the WSL standings.