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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow Stadium

Blues cruise back to top of WSL with regulation 3-0 win over 10-player Villa

Action from Chelsea v Aston Villa Picture: Paul Lagan
Action from Chelsea v Aston Villa Picture: Paul Lagan

By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow Stadium

Chelsea 3 v Aston Villa 0

Chelsea returned to the top of the WSL with a comfortable 3-0 over mid-table Aston Villa at Kingsmeadow tonight – albeit on goal difference from Manchester City.

Strikes from Aggie Beever-Jones, league debutant Maika Hamano and a second half header from Kadeisha Buchanan saw the west Londoners back on the winning trail after a League cup final defeat and a FA Cup semi-final loss at the weekend.

It was a welcome win as the Blues head off on Friday to face Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final first leg.

Head coach Emma Hayes opted to give Lauren James a night off with a host of first team starters on Saturday having bit parts to play from the bench.

Sjoeke Nusken caught Anna Leat all at sixes and sevens on three minutes when the attacking midfielder tried a daisy-cutter.

Unfortunately for the stopper she was out of her area and deflected the ball away with her hands.

Rightly referee Melissa Burgin judged it a sending off offence and off she went.

Villa boss Carla Ward brought on Sophia Poor – the luckless Ebony Salmon was sacrificed.

Chelsea took even more control of the game, certainly from a possession point of view but were slightly lacklustre in their tempo, thus making it easy for Villa to hold firm.

But it was a case of for how long?

Well actually not very long.

An excellent left byline cross from left-back Niamh Charles went to the far post and Aggie Beever-Jones produced an excellent left-footed cut back across the goal and into the far corner of Poor's net to put the champions 1-0 up on 16 minutes.

Japan's Maika Hamano, making her league debut for the Blues notched up number two on 38 minutes when she tucked home from close range.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

But the first change came on 56 minutes when Charles was replaced by Guro Reiten.

The inevitable third goal came on 63 minutes when, from a regulation Catarina Macario corner, Kadeisha Buchanan powerfully headed home from six yards out.

Erin Cuthbert and Mayra Ramirez replaced Jess Carter and Macario on 69 minutes.

It should have been four on 79 minutes when Kirby was free at the far post but Poor made a fine save at the near post to deflect the ball for a corner. She then thwarted Reiten's low drive.

Beever-Jones had her time and was replaced by Johanna Rytting Kaneryd with nine minutes left on the clock.

Nine minutes of added time were not enough to bolster then goals tally, but the win with no injuries was the order of the night.

Teams: Chelsea, Hampton, Ingle, Nusken, Carter, Macario, Lawrence, Kirby,Charles, Hamano, Buchanan, Beever-Jones

Subs: Musovic, Leupolz, Reiten, Perisset, Rytting Kaneryd, Cuthbert, Ramirez

Aston Villa: Leat, Mayling, Patten, Corsie,, Nobbs,


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