Chelsea won 4-0 against Manchester City, beating them at the Academy Stadium for the first time in the WSL and narrowing the gap to leading Arsenal to just one point at the top of the table.
It was a clinical and ruthless performance from the reigning champions, who had a 2-0 lead at the break even though they did not create much in the way of chances in the first half.
Chelsea got their opener a little more than a minute in when Jessie Fleming intercepted a loose pass from City goalkeeper Karima Taieb on the edge of the penalty area and put the ball into an empty net. Sam Kerr later finished second in stoppage time in the first half with a close-range finish.
In between, City were the better team. They had more meaningful possession, looked more inclined to score goals and were generally superior. Ann-Katrin Berger made an outstanding one-on-one save to deny Caroline Weir and even stopped a nod from Alex Greenwood.
City could, and perhaps should, even have had a penalty when Berger hit Lauren Hemp.
But after two, the hosts would always fight uphill in the second half and looked increasingly resigned when the match came further away from them.
Fran Kirby got Chelsea’s third when she hit one in the far corner after the Blues had kept the ball alive in City’s penalty area. The fourth came from a corner and it was an easy nod for Magdalena Eriksson, who got to the ball before weak Taieb.
The result means that City have lost all three WSL home games so far this season, pushing them to the bottom half of the table and putting pressure on manager Gareth Taylor.
This is how each set of players rated …
Man City’s goalkeeper Karima Taieb was bad / Naomi Baker / GettyImages
Karima Taieb (GK) – 3/10 – Her poor pass gave Chelsea her early goal. Weak on the fourth as well. Really not good overall either.
Georgia Stanway (RB) – 5/10 – Caught in ball possession that led to Chelsea’s second goal.
Jill Scott (CB) – 5/10 – Filling in as a midfielder turns out to be a tough question.
Alex Greenwood (CB) – 5/10 – Could have nodded into the first half. Stuck under the ball when Chelsea made their fourth.
Demi Stokes (LB) – 6/10 – Strong runner on the ball in both directions. Good on the cover in the first half.
Keira Walsh & Man City were better in the first half / Naomi Baker / GettyImages
Filippa Angeldahl (CM) – 6/10 – Plenty of energy and bit in midfield when City were at the forefront. Chelsea later controlled the match.
Keira Walsh (CM) – 6/10 – Again, she controlled things in the first half.
Caroline Weir (CM) – 6/10 – Should have equalized early when she went through on goal. Nice on the ball as always.
We continue! ?
? 0-4? #ManCity pic.twitter.com/rgOE4xrFE2
– Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) November 14, 2021
Jess Park (RW) – 5/10 – Good on the ball in the first half. But not enough impact and faded from the game later.
Ellen White (ST) – 4/10 – So isolated, even when City had the better of the match in the first half. This was not at all a team that played to her strengths.
Lauren Hemp (LW) – 7/10 – Typically electric on the ball. Should probably have received a punishment at some point. Even four goals down, she was still trying to make things happen and ask questions.
Janine Beckie (RW) – 5/10 – The competition was over when she entered.
Laura Coombs (CM) – 5/10 – Little she could do to change things.
Vicky Losada (CM) – 5/10 – Got more minutes late.
Hayley Raso (LW) – 6/10 – Replaced hemp for the final stages.
Ann-Katrin Berger made a great save when Chelsea only led 1-0 / Alex Livesey / GettyImages
Ann-Katrin Berger (GK) – 7/10 – Get to the top in an early one-on-one with Weir. It turned out to be a great moment in the match in the end. Made other saves but could also have given away a penalty. Got rid of an injury late.
Millie Bright (CB) – 6/10 – Rarely saw in trouble.
Jess Carter (CB) – 6/10 – Became a pleasant afternoon in the end. Had a couple of footsteps but came on top.
Magdalena Eriksson (CB) – 7/10 – Plays this role to the left of the three midfielders so well and was rewarded in the second half with a goal.
Ji played a big role in Chelsea’s second goal / Alex Livesey – Danehouse / GettyImages
Erin Cuthbert (RM) – 8/10 – Worked hard up and down the flank and got away with two assists.
Melanie Leupolz (CM) – 7/10 – Showed his class, especially in the second half when Chelsea exercised more dominance.
Ji So-yun (CM) – 6/10 – Attic cross to the far post created the second goal. Tactically sacrificed at half time.
Guro Riding (LM) – 7/10 – Keeping the ball alive excellently from Ji’s cross, the ball bounced back over the penalty area.
Jessie Fleming made the early premiere / Alex Livesey – Danehouse / GettyImages
Jessie Fleming (RF) – 7/10 – Sharp from the first minute to catch up and make the breakthrough goal.
Sam Kerr (ST) – 7/10 – Quiet first half but was in place to make it 2-0 with a sniper finish in the first half stoppage time.
Fran Kirby (LF) – 7/10 – Forced a good save from Taieb early in the second half. Like Kerr, she had been unusually quiet up to that point. But then went on to concede Chelsea’s third goal.
Sophie Ingle (CM) – 7/10 – Employed at half-time to provide better defensive protection in midfield.
Bethany England (ST) – 5/10 – Chelsea was in the cruise control when she arrived.
Zecira Musovic (GK) – N / A – Had nothing to do.
Niamh Charles (RB) – 6/10 – Important minutes under the belt.
Drew Spence (CM) – 6/10 – Recessed well.
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