Chelsea Ladies have comfortably progressed to the Semi Finals of the Continental Tyres Cup after an impressive 5-1 defeat of Liverpool Ladies at Kingsmeadow. After already winning their previous four games in the competition in convincing fashion, Chelsea secured their fifth victory through an attacking and clinical display that will leave them in an optimistic mood to win the whole thing.
With last weekend’s game versus Manchester City Women being postponed, Emma Hayes’ team were consequently well rested and knocks were fully recovered from meaning Hayes had a fully fit squad to choose from. Hayes made five changes from the team that played Spurs Ladies two weeks ago and lined the Chelsea team up in a 3-4-1-2 formation. Carly Telford came in in goal, Ji So-Yun and club captain Katie Chapman were the two central midfielders while Drew Spence was in the hole behind Fran Kirby and Ramona Bachmann up front.
Liverpool had made it very difficult for Chelsea the last time these two teams faced each other but Liverpool couldn’t enforce the same game plan again this time as Chelsea took a lead in only the 4th minute. Ji clipped a fantastically weighted through ball over the top and all that was left was for Fran Kirby to hold off the Liverpool defender and slot the ball into the bottom corner.
The early goal seemed to take Liverpool by surprise as well as knocking them off their stride and Chelsea continued to exert their dominance and pepper shots at goal. The next goal was inevitable and the Blues duly delivered two goals in a minute to grab full control of the game. Liverpool’s high line was causing themselves huge issues, firstly Bachmann was able to latch on to another lofted through ball, round the keeper and place the ball into an empty net. Then only seconds later, Fran Kirby was able to get in behind the Liverpool defence and in the one on one with Liverpool’s keeper Siobhan Chamberlain, there would only be one winner.
After 25 minutes, Chelsea were 3-0 up and cruising and the teams headed into half time with the score remaining the same.
The second half began with more intent from Liverpool and within 5 minutes of the restart, Liverpool had pulled a goal back, Casey Stoney heading in from a corner. Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly quashed by the rampant Fran Kirby as she completed her hat-trick. Ramona Bachmann went on a mazey run into the penalty area and managed to get her shot away, it was parried by Chamberlain but Kirby was on hand to put the ball in the net.
Chelsea’s fourth goal fully ended the game as a contest and as both teams used the substitutions, the game lulled towards the end. A bright spot was contributed by one of the subs however as Erin Cuthbert, who had come on for Bachmann, wonderfully curled in an effort from the edge of the box.
Player of the Match: Fran Kirby (Chelsea) – Chelsea’s top scorer was at it again as she displayed her finishing prowess with three well taken goals