Chelsea are still on course to complete the quintuple and write history by winning every single trophy on offer this season, having won the Continental Cup final with a 6-0 thrashing of Bristol City. English forward Fran Kirby was on absolute fire assisting or scoring every single goal as Sam Kerr scored a hat-trick, as Emma Hayes’ side continued their dominance of domestic competitions in this country.
The dangerous duo of Kerr and Kirby combined for both of the opening goals as the Blues took the lead in just 87 seconds. There was a clear gulf in quality between the two sides at Vicarage Road, with Chelsea already having scored 14 goals in their two league meetings so far this season. The Australian forward had a field day in front of goal, but it was one of her celebrations that caught the eye of her manager, as she broke out her front flip for the first time in a Chelsea shirt.
“I’m shaking my head because I’ve waited 12 months for that. The second half of the flip was very sloppy. It would’ve been a 4.0 at the Olympics,” Hayes joked after full-time.
Meanwhile, Kirby put in a brilliant performance and paid tribute to her late mother who passed away when she was just 14 with her celebration. “I don’t think you can underestimate the impact of losing a mum at that age,” her manager commented. “As I have always said being in a household of boys I have always felt the one thing Fran needed from me, rightly or wrongly, was the maternal eye and that was the commitment I made to myself about what I was going to do for her. The rest of it is on her, she’s done all the work. I’ve merely stood beside her when she needed me to.”
With the Community Shield and the Continental Cup (also known as the League Cup) now in the bag, what do Hayes’ side need to do to end the season with all five trophies? They are currently in pole position in the Women’s Super League, sitting two points clear of Manchester City having lost just one league game all season and although they will be pushed all the way, they should fancy their chances in that competition. With Kerr and Kirby playing as they are, goals should keep flowing, the only negative to take from the final was the serious injury to Maren Mjelde, one of Chelsea’s key defenders.
They are safely through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, which will be played at the end of April and are expected to come through in their home tie against second tier side London City Lionesses with few issues. Given how dominant they were in the League Cup they will fancy their chances of going all the way and will be looking to improve on their quarter-final exit to Everton last season, although current holders Man City will be desperate to keep hold of their crown.
The big one is the Champions League. Having knocked out Atletico Madrid thanks to heroics from keeper Ann-Katrin Berger they have been drawn up against two-time champions Wolfburg in the quarter-finals. The German side are currently second in the Bundesliga to a ridiculous Bayern Munich side who have won 16 out of 16 and conceded just three goals, while they beat LASK 4-0 on aggregate to progress to this stage.
Only one English side has won the Champions League and that was Arsenal back in 2007 while if Chelsea progress, they will likely face the aforementioned Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. Somehow get past the German side and either PSG or Lyon, who are targeting their sixth Champions League title in a row, lie in wait. Lyon have dominated European football over the past five seasons but now there is serious competition for their crown.
Chelsea are outsiders in that competition and may have to ‘settle’ for complete domestic dominance, but winning is a good habit, and one the Blues certainly can’t stop right now.