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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Brisbane Road

James wonder goal puts Chelsea top of the WSL after 3-2 win away to Spurs

By Paul Lagan at Brisbane Road

Spurs 2 v Chelsea 3

Lauren James scored a wonderful individual goal ensuring the Blues returned to the top of the WSL after a hard-fought 3-2 away win against Spurs.

With Manchester United only drawing 0-0 at home to Everton, the west Londoners leapfrogged them.

James’ goal on 27 minutes saw her sail across the Spurs defence taking out three players in the run before slotting home with a left-footer.

That restored the lead given by Jess Carter’s glancing header which was cancelled out by Bethany England.

Guro Reiten added the third for the Blues before a late surge by the home side saw substitute Nikola Karczewska tuck home to reduce the deficit to one.

James is a star already but with more game time under her belt is sure to become a world star.

It took the Blues seven minutes to open their account. A regulation short corner by Reiten to James, saw the winger tap the ball on to Erin Cuthbert, who clipped in a teasing cross, and left-back Jess Carter glanced the ball on which ended up in the back of Tinja-RIikka Korpela’s net.

Spurs equalised in the simplest of fashion on 14 minutes when ex-Blue Drew Spence fought along the Chelsea byline and sent the ball across goal, where ex-Blue England was all by herself to tap the ball in.

Chelsea looked all at sea for the next 10 minutes, grappling with the physicality of the home side.

But on 27 minutes the ball fell to James on the right. Off she went zipping passing three statuesque defenders before letting fly with a low, left footer from just outside the Spurs penalty area which zoomed into the far left corner of Korpela’s goal to restore the one goal lead.

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

Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes was first to break ranks, bringing on Fran Kirby and Eve Perisset - off came Jessie Fleming and Niamh Charles on 60 minutes.

Spence tried her arm from 25 yards, but her effort sailed into the stand behind Zecira Musovic, but 60 seconds later the home side were 3-1 down when Reiten collected the ball and cut straight through the Spurs defence before slotting home a comfortable left-footer wide of Korpela’s to make it 3-1 on 64 minutes.

Helena Cankovic and Melanie Leupolz came onat 63 minutes and off came Kerr and Erin Cuthbert.

Hayes final change saw Reiten replaced by Johanna Rytting Kaneryd with 10 minutes left on the clock.

A late strike by substitute Nikola Karczewska reduced the deficit again to make it 3-2.

Chelsea however kept their composure and more importantly the ball to see out the four minutes of added time

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

Chelsea: Musovic, Bright, Ingle, Carter, James, Reiten, Fleming, Kerr, Charles, Cuthbert, Buchanan

Subs: Leupolz, Kirby, Perisset, Mjelde, Kaneryd, Abdullina, Cankovic, Berger


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