Chelsea have been crowned champions of the Women’s Super League for a fourth time after blitzing Reading 5-0 at Kingsmeadow on the final game of the season on Sunday afternoon
Emma Hayes’ Blues have been simply outstanding all season, only tasting defeat once across the entire campaign (to Brighton in February), winning 18 of their 22 matches, racking up 57 points in the process.
Incredibly, with the league and League Cup in the bag, a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup and a spot in the Champions League final to come, the Blues are still on for an unprecedented quadruple. Add that to the fact that the men’s side have their own Champions League and FA Cup finals to contend with, it’s proving to be a landmark year for Chelsea Football Club.
If Chelsea had any nerves going into this game, knowing the title was in their hands, it definitely didn’t show and Melanie Leupolz had them 1-0 up inside two minutes. A brace from Fran Kirby, a single goal from Sam Kerr, which wrapped up the Australian’s Golden Boot win, and a late goal from Erin Cuthbert sealed the win. Ann-Katrin Berger's clean sheet today was her 12th of the campaign and makes her the Golden Glove winner.
A special mention has to be made for Reading’s Fara Williams, too. The England legend made her last appearance before her retirement at the end of the season - she will no doubt be the first name in the WSL Hall of Fame.
Speaking after the title win, Hayes, who has won back-to-back titles at Chelsea now, said, “This is the best squad I’ve had, it’s the best title in my time here. I cannot wait for the Champions League final next weekend. We’re ready.
“I said to them when they picked their medals up: ‘You like winning? Good. Because you’ve got to win again next weekend.’ I know the quality and mentality we have. I know how amazing Barcelona are, but so are we.
“This is always the big one, because it shows you’re consistent as champions.”
Chelsea were pushed all the way this season by a Man City side in similarly scintillating form, finishing just two points behind the leaders. Gareth Taylor’s beat West Ham 1-0, but given Chelsea’s romp against Reading, there was little they could do. Ellen White scored the winner for the Cityzens with fifteen minutes to go, but perhaps the best performance of the game came from Hammers’ goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, who denied City from the spot twice.
At the bottom of the table, Bristol City, who have won just two games all season, needed to pull off a miracle against Brighton to ensure they remained in the WSL but were well beaten at Broadfield Stadium, losing 3-1, condemning them to relegation.
Elsewhere, Ella Toone and Kirsty Hanson ensured Manchester United concluded their season with a win, beating Everton 2-0. A solo Kit Graham goal was enough to see Spurs edge past Birmingham City, while Arsenal and Aston Villa played out the only goalless game of the afternoon.