Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Emma Hayes’ side takes a giant leap towards the WSL title as Gunners drop out of race
Chelsea took a step closer to winning a fourth straight WSL title with a dominant 2-0 victory over Arsenal at Kingsmeadow, knocking the Gunners out of the title race.
Emma Hayes’ side will be crowned WSL champions tonight if Manchester United fails to beat local rivals City in the 6.45pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports, while Arsenal faces a battle to stay in the top three Champions League spots with fourth-place City just three points behind.
An energetic Chelsea took the lead through Guro Reiten midway through the first half, stretching unmarked to slide home Eve Perisset’s driven cross into the bottom corner, her 12th goal of a superb season.
Chelsea doubled their lead just before the break as Reiten’s free-kick was headed back across goal by Sam Kerr for Magdalena Eriksson to bundle home (41), a special moment for the skipper, days after announcing she’d be leaving the club at the end of the season.
Katie McCabe, who Chelsea tried to sign in January, dragged a penalty wide for Arsenal (60), but the Blues saw the game out professionally for a deserved three points, their 18th win in 21 games this season, and sixth straight victory as they look to continue their domestic dominance.
If United wins, the title race will go to the final day of the season on Saturday, with Chelsea likely only needing a draw at bottom side Reading on Saturday. United could still win the title if they beat Liverpool away and Chelsea draw with Reading, but they’d have to overturn a six-goal difference over their final two games.
Manchester United vs Manchester City, kick-off 6.45pm, live on Sky Sports
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes:
“I’m really happy we’ve won, but I’m really sad we’re losing two amazing people [Eriksson and Harder.]
“This calendar has been relentless from March onwards. I think this team does well with a lot of games. The squad has been amazing this season.
“Everyone looks on the pitch and sees 11 people, I see the years of work, analysis, meetings, the tough times, the good times, all of those things. This team has a habit of peaking”