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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Brisbane Road

It’s the Kerr and Kirby show as Chelsea cruise to League Cup semi-final after beating Spurs 3-1

By Paul Lagan at Brisbane Road

Spurs 1 v Chelsea 3

Chelsea cruised into the semi-final of the League Cup without raising a sweat, which would have been difficult given the cold and wet conditions as they overcame a dogged Spurs 3-1 with two goals from Sam Kerr and a lovely strike from substitute Fran Kirby.

A wonder strike by Drew Spence deep into added time was a consolation but nothing else.

Spurs offered a tight defensive structure to start with, with a bank of six with another of three in front of their goal, which frustrated Chelsea - who, simply kept the ball, switching play and hoping to nick a through ball in the channels for Kerr to latch into.

That they didn’t was testament to how far tactically Spurs have come in recent times.

Chelsea kept their shape and confidence. While at times, they looked a bit sluggish and ragged, that was due mostly to a lack of sharp, and fast counter-attacks.

The introduction of Kirby and Jessie Fleming in the second half, showed what they were missing in the first. But by then, Chelsea were well on their way to victory by now.

Eveliina Summanen had the first effort on goal for the home side on eight minutes, a long-distance free-kick - which was well held by Zecira Musovic.

Chelsea’s first effort should have resulted in a goal but Eve Perisset saw her angled right-footer go wide of Korpela’s goal.

Musovic was soon in action again a couple of minutes later, but she smothered a Celin Bizet drive well.

It took until the 30th minute before any flair play by the Blues manifested itself. The excellent one-touch ply cut Spurs defence part, but Lauren James shot was weak and did not trouble Korpela.

A great break by Erin Cuthbert and Sam Kerr set up James on 35 minutes. She raced into the Spurs area, but her shot took a slight deflection for a corner. From the resultant kick the ball fell to Millie Bright who launched it into row Z behind the goal.

The Blues started to hold the ball better and for once they pierced the Spurs defence with intent. Reiten to Cuthbert saw the the ball notched onto Kerr, and the striker clipped the ball home from close range on 38 minutes.

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

Spurs started the second half brighter, and Ex-Blue Drew Spence will be kicking herself that her effort on 49 minutes did not result in a shot on goal. She was free in the Chelsea penalty area, but sliced the ball needlessly wide of goal.

S[urs first change saw Chioma Ubogagu enter the fray on 58 minutes, off came ineffectual Mana Iwabuchi.

Chelsea followed suit, Fran Kirby and Jessie Fleming came on, Sophie Ingle and Jelena Cankovic were replaced.

The introduction of Kirby was a masterstroke, as on 66 minutes, she combined with James on the right. The winger cut the ball back to her and in a flash the ball was in the back of the Spurs net as it was whipped across at speed and nestled into the far side netting of Korpela’s goal.

Johanna RyttIng Kaneryd replaced Reiten with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Niamh Charles replaced Perisset with seven minutes left on the clock.

A couple of minutes later and Kerr made up for the mess she made of a run on goal, by chipping in from a tight angle to make it a comfortable 3-0 for the west Londoners .

That wasn’t the end to the scoring as Spence finally got one over her ex-team-mates with a fine strike deep into added time to gone the home side come minor comfort.

Spurs: Korpela, Turner, Bartrip, Zadorsky, Harrop, Summanen, Spence, Bizet, Ayane, Iwabuchi, England

Subs: Spencer, Naz, Karczewska, Ale, James, Ubogagu

Chelsea: Musovic, Bright, Ingle, Carter, James, Reiten, Perisset, Kerr, Cuthbert, Buchanan, Cankovic

Subs, Berger, Svitkova, Kirby, Eriksson, Fleming, Mjelde, Kaneryd, Charles, Abdullina


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