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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Old Trafford

Well, they've only gone and done it - 6-0 thrashing of Man United in their backyard gives Chelsea WSL title - again!

Champions Chelsea lift the WSL title again Picture by Paul Lagan
Champions Chelsea lift the WSL title again Picture by Paul Lagan


By Paul Lagan at Old Trafford

Manchester United 0 v Chelsea 6


Mayra Ramirez is a goal-scoring monster and her brace propelled Chelsea to a sensational 6-0 thrashing of Manchester United and the WSL title – again in a pulsating match that had everything – if everything meant goals for Chelsea.

It was an incredible ending to a 12-year Chelsea career for manager Emma Hayes too and the plaudits, tears, hugs, and no doubt the odd bottle of Champagne or two will be taken long in to the night.

Other efforts fell successfully to Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Melanie Leupolz and substitutes Sjoeke Nusken, and for one last time in a blue shirt, Fran Kirby.

But it was Ramirez's buccaneering style, power and finishing that set the west Londoners to their fifth WSL title in a row.

If you are going to need to win a game to win the title, you might as well do it in style, away from home and at the self-styled Theatre of Dreams.

The kick-off saw Chelsea, top the league, level on points with Manchester City – but with a superior two-goal margin.

City needed to win and overcome that goal deficit, Chelsea needed to match or better City's result.

It was that simple, nerves were jangling off the pitch, but on it all manager Emma Hayes could do was pick a side that would start well and pile the pressure on the home outfit, whose league season had fallen apart – it worked like a dream.

One minute and 30 seconds is all it took for the Blues to take the lead.


Champions Chelsea lift the WSL title again Picture by Paul Lagan
Champions Chelsea lift the WSL title again Picture by Paul Lagan

Guro Reiten raced down the left wing to latch onto a brilliant pass before crashing across a perfect, and powerful byline cross and Columbia striker Mayra Ramirez met the cross with blistering precision and power to smack it home past Mary Earps.

Seven minutes and 32 seconds and it's number two as the Blues produce another stunning strike.

Melanie Leupolz won the ball from an Earps kick out. Ramirez picked it up, turned and slid the perfect pass to in-running Rytting Kaneryd who raced clear but still had work to do before slicing her right-footer wide of Earps and into the bottom of the net with a tickle off the side of the post to assist it on it's way.

United centre back Maya le Tissier was unlucky on 20 minutes when her glancing header from a corner clipped the Chelsea crossbar.

The Blues have been poor at defending set pieces of late and it's a tactic that United intended to fully use to their advantage.

Hayes was forced to make a substitution five minutes from the break as Catarina Macario who took a knock minutes earlier failed to respond to treatment and off she went, on came Nusken.

Forty three minutes and 17 seconds and Ramirez went on a sensational run down the right flank.

She powered past Millie Turner before cutting the ball back, and with her first touch, Nusken was unmarked at the far post to tuck home number three.

Ramirez demonstrated the power of Didier Drogba with the clinical edge of Sam Kerr – quite a combination. And she's still no where near 100 per cent fit.

46 minutes and 40 seconds she proved that with a quite remarkable goal.

Latching onto a cutback from Kaneryd Rytting, she picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area, slammed past two defenders before whipping the ball home with venomous precision past Earps to make it 0-4.

Chelsea were unchanged at half time

Forty six minutes and 20 seconds and it's number five.

Rytting Kaneryd did all the heavy lifting trying to do it all by herself. She almost succeeded but the ball slipped to Reiten, whose knocked the ball forward and it touched the bottom of the left post. She did not give up, and passed the ball to Leupolz who stretched out her right leg to direct the ball into the net.

Hayes opted to bring on the experienced Sophie Ingle and the youngster Aggie Beever-Jones – off went Ramirez and Leupolz on 58 minutes.

It might be sentiment, but Hayes would not counter such an accusation, but the introduction of Fran Kirby for the final 18 minutes of the game was as close as it could get.

Reiten also left the field for Ashley Lawrence.

She replaced Erin Cuthbert and the Chelsea faithful were justified in chanting the name of a Chelsea icon, who leaves the club in the summer.

Eighty four minutes and a couple of seconds and it just had to be, Kirby, did what she has done many dozens of time before – slotting the ball home, this time from an acute angle that made it number six.

The fans chanted “Emma, Emma what's the score?” – she obliged – six fingers up.

And then the final whistle was blown. It was all over.

For the record - City won 2-1, not enough.


Teams: Chelsea: Musovic, Bright, Carter, Leupolz, Macario, Reiten, Rytting Kaneryd, Charles. Cuthbert, Ramirez, Byorn

Subs: Hampton, Ingle, Nusken, James, Lawrence, Kirby, Hamano, Buchanan, Beever-Jones


 Man Utd: Earps, Le Tissier, Blundell, Toone, Malard, Zelem, Riviere, Naalsund, Garcia, Turner, Williams

Subs: Tullis-Joyce, Mannion, Guerrero, Ladd, Evans, Miyazawa, Parris, Da Silva Ferreira, Rabjohn

Referee: Rebecca Welch




Chelsea fans celebrate the WSL  Picture by Paul Lagan
Chelsea fans celebrate the WSL Picture by Paul Lagan



Old Trafford Picture by Paul Lagan
Old Trafford Picture by Paul Lagan

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