Look out, Manchester United! Chelsea close in on Women's Super League leaders with hammering of Everton despite Sam Kerr injury
- Reiten, Kerr, Harder, Ingle, Fleming and Cuthbert score
- Chelsea within touching distance of leaders Man Utd
- Kerr goes off in first half with ankle problem
TELL ME MORE: It didn't take long for Chelsea to get off the mark in the game, as Guro Reiten broke the deadlock after only 12 minutes with a gorgeous left-footed strike from the edge of the box that flew into the far corner. Within minutes, it was two, with Niamh Charles hanging up a brilliant cross for Sam Kerr to head home after the striker escaped the attention of Everton defender Nathalie Bjorn.
Not long after that, Kerr had to go off with what appeared to be a knock to her ankle. It didn't look serious but, unsurprisingly, manager Emma Hayes wasn't taking any risks and Kerr's replacement, Pernille Harder, was able to make it 3-0 with her very first touch as she swept home a Reiten cut-back.
On the stroke of half time, Jessie Fleming would set up fellow midfielder Sophie Ingle to guide the ball home from the edge of the box for four - and there was still time for another before the break, too, with Fleming getting in on the act in stoppage time after Harder profited from a defensive error and pulled it back to her from the byline.
Everton were much more solid in the second half but Harder would make it six after a lovely team move and Erin Cuthbert, who assisted that one, put the cherry on the cake for seven. It only further solidified a result that was already decided, one that sees Chelsea leapfrog Manchester City, after their shock defeat to Liverpool earlier in the day, into second place. The Blues are now just four points behind Man Utd, with two games in hand.
THE MVP: Sadly, Chelsea have been without Harder for long spells this season due to injury but Sunday was a reminder of what quality she can bring to the Blues now she is back fit and ready for the run-in. The Dane came off the bench on 32 minutes, found the back of the net on 33 minutes and had an assist in first-half stoppage time. She doubled her tally for the day in the second period with another excellent finish, too, one that flew past Everton goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan.
THE BIG LOSER: It's been a superb first season for Everton under head coach Brian Sorensen but his team were put to the sword on Sunday. The Toffees have progressed massively under the Dane, so he will have no doubt been disappointed to see them crumble the way they did in the first half. Chelsea were ruthless but Everton could've done much better for several of the goals. The second period was, at least, an improvement.
MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Chelsea could be top of the WSL by the time Man Utd next play in the league. The Blues have games in hand against Leicester and West Ham to come on the next two Wednesdays, with an FA Cup final against the Red Devils sandwiched in between.
MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE): ⭐⭐⭐