Why we’re talking about . . .

Emma Hayes’s Chelsea: a trophy-winning machine

It’s the third Women’s Super League title in a row for the Blues

There’s big changes happening at Chelsea. Off the pitch, Roman Abramovich’s ownership is coming to an end after a deal was agreed to sell the club to a consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly. On the pitch, however, it’s business as usual – especially for the women’s team. 

On the final day of the Women’s Super League (WSL) season, a 4-2 victory over Manchester United saw Chelsea seal the title by just one point from Arsenal, who were 2-0 winners at West Ham. It’s the third WSL crown in succession for the Blues, while for manager Emma Hayes it’s her fifth since being appointed in 2012. 

Hayes admitted that she was left feeling “mentally drained” after her team twice came from behind to beat United. At a sold out Kingsmeadow, goals from Erin Cuthbert, Guro Reiten and two “superb volleys” from Sam Kerr helped keep their closest rivals Arsenal at bay, said Football365.com

Clinching the title by a point was “typical” of a Chelsea side who just “cannot stop winning trophies”, said Emma Sanders on BBC Sport. “From last-minute winners, to comebacks and defensive masterclasses”, these are the “ingredients” which have made Chelsea’s title-winning season.

The best title yet

It’s been a gruelling campaign for Hayes’s team, which has suffered with injury problems. In January the squad was down to around 13 or 14 players, but Hayes believes it was that eight-game stretch where the title was won. “I’ve never known injuries like we’ve had this year,” she told the Chelsea website. “We had bare bones at some points. For that reason it’s the proudest one because it meant everybody stepped up, no-one was a passenger. I’m relieved it’s over, hallelujah. This is by far and away the best one.”

Cuthbert, who scored against United, agreed that this title win was the best one yet. “Never write off this team,” she said. “We’ve got a top mentality, a top manager – what a day for the football club”.

‘Outrageous’ Kerr shows her class  

One of the key players in Chelsea’s title victory has been Australian striker Sam Kerr. Her first goal against United, which levelled the score at 2-2, was a “left-footed volley lashed into the top corner”, said Suzanne Wrack in The Guardian. Her second, Chelsea’s fourth, was “even more special”, as she “controlled with her chest before she turned and looped a volley over the United goalkeeper Mary Earps”.

Kerr’s second goal was described as “world-class, outrageous, audacious” by Hayes. However, the forward knew that it was coming. Revealing that she had visualised the strike, she had told teammate Erin Cuthbert that “I’m going to score an unbelievable goal tomorrow”. 

Before Kerr signed in 2019, Hayes had told the Aussie that if she came to Chelsea she would win trophies. “I can sit here confidently and say we both made the right decision,” the manager said. “We’re both made for Chelsea and we both love days like today.”

Since Hayes took over nearly ten years ago Chelsea have won ten major trophies. They can add more silverware on Sunday when they look to complete the double in the Women’s FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.

Recommended

A guide to the PGA Championship
The winner of the US PGA Championship lifts the Wanamaker Trophy
In Focus

A guide to the PGA Championship

Jake Daniels comes out as gay: a landmark moment
Jake Daniels made his first-team debut for Blackpool against Peterborough on 7 May 
View from the terraces

Jake Daniels comes out as gay: a landmark moment

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career records and grand slams
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the ‘big three’ of men’s tennis
Profile

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career records and grand slams

Messi vs. Ronaldo: all-time goals, career stats and trophies
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Profile

Messi vs. Ronaldo: all-time goals, career stats and trophies

Popular articles

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?
Nato troops
In Depth

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?

The Week Footer Banner