Chelsea thrash Leicester City 8-0 to return to top of WSL
By Paul Lagan at King Power Stadium
Leicester City 0 v Chelsea 8
Chelsea thrashed bottom of the table Leicester City 8-0 to return to the top of the WSL with a powerful and commanding display at the King Power Stadium
The goal difference may prove significant come the end of the season with Arsenal and Manchester United hot on the coat tails of the Blues, so every goal mattered.
Last season Chelsea demolished Leicester 9-0 in their own bck yard as they arrowed towards retaining the league title, and they almost repeated the score.
A brace apiece for Jessie Fleming and Fran Kirby, and strikes from Guro Reiten, Niamh Charles, Beth England and Sam Kerr broke the spirit of the Vixens for whom a return to the Championship looks increasingly likely with every game played. They have yet to secure their first point of the season.
It took the west Londoners, three minutes and 25 seconds to open the scoring.
A smart attacking move saw Norway skipper Guro Reiten on the edge of the Leicester’s penalty area and she cooly slotted home a curling left-footer past the despairing dive of goalkeeper Demi Lambourne.
Number two was soon to follow, as again the home side were left dizzy as the Blues, playing in all-yellow, zipped the ball around the Vixens penalty area. A miscued shot by Kirby was picked up by Reiten on the byline. She fed in-running Fleming who smashed home from eight yards out.
With the game effectively over, it was a case of what will Leicester do to stop a goal avalanche, and did Chelsea have the stomach for a goal-fest?
The game petered out as a match mid-way through the first half, Sam Tierney was booked for a foul on Kirby, being the only notable action.
But on 39 minutes, it was number three. Fleming and Reiten combined well leaving Kirby the time to chest the ball down and slot home.
Seconds later and Charles popped up with number four.
Seconds before the break another great counter attack on the left saw Reiten produce the pass of the day that set Kerr up to thump home, again from close range, number 5.
There was no changes from head coach Emma Hayes to the side at half-time.
But the Blues continued where they left off.
This time, excellent work on the left by Magda Eriksson and Charles in particular - saw the ball flow to Canadian Fleming and she rammed home her second and Chelsea’s sixth.
Ann-Katrin Berger was called into action to make a proper save on 60 minutes - substitute Natasha Flint’s 20 yarder warmed the German goalkeeper up as she dived to her left and finger-tipped the powerful effort wide for a corner.
Hayes had seen enough and, on 64 minutes opted to bring off Fleming for Jelena Cankovic and Kerr for Beth England.
Three more changes followed on 75 minutes. On came Jess Carter, Aniek Nouwen, and Alsu Abdullina. Off went Eriksson, Reiten and Perisset.
Within seconds Abdullina warranted her foray into the pitch by drilling in a powerful left byline cross which was met with equal power by the head of England who directed the ball into the back of the net to make it 0-7.
Kirby tapped in to make it number 8 on 82 minutes to seal an emphatic victory.
Teams: Chelsea, Berger, Bright, Ingle, Reiten, Kirby, Perisset, Eriksson, Fleming, Rytting-Kanery, Kerr, Charles
SubsMusovic, Nouwen, Carter, England, James, Svitkova, Cuthbert, Abdullina, Cankovic
Leicester City, Lambourne, Tierney, Brougham, Pile, Whelan, Simon, Howard, Jones, Goodwin, Purfield, Baker
Subs<. Vance, Bott, Flint, Jones, CIN, Levell, Smith, Robinson, Scofield