Chelsea Women will hope for a distinct improvement in their form at home against Liverpool on Sunday. The league table-toppers were second best against Arsenal last weekend in front of nearly 47,000 at the Emirates, writes Jane Grove. It was only an 89th minute equaliser by Blues striker Sam Kerr which saved the day – and
Chelsea Women will hope for a distinct improvement in their form at home against Liverpool on Sunday.
The league table-toppers were second best against Arsenal last weekend in front of nearly 47,000 at the Emirates, writes Jane Grove.
It was only an 89th minute equaliser by Blues striker Sam Kerr which saved the day – and left the Gunners feeling they had been robbed.
As indeed they were. Chelsea were 1-0 down, thanks to Arsenal’s captain Kim Little’s penalty, when up popped Kerr to spoil the home side’s day as the Women’s Super League resumed after the winter break.
With one minute remaining, the diminutive number 20, who had been kept quiet for most of the game, met a Jelena Cankovic cross to head home a stunning goal to draw the tie. The pocket of flag-waving Chelsea supporters went wild.
This was an important point for Emma Hayes’ team, who lead their London rivals by three points knowing the Gunners have a game in hand.
The Chelsea manager, reflecting on the 1-1 scoreline which brings to an end a run of nine consecutive wins in the WSL, said she thought it was a tough game, coming to Arsenal’s home ground in the first game after the international break.
“I don’t think it was our best performance today, but I think it was a really great point for us coming here. The team knows how to find a result; we never switched off, we got a brilliant point here today.”
Emma said she thought the penalty, awarded against defender Niamh Charles for a shoulder barge on Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord was harsh, a 50:50 clash which she thought was outside the area, and was full of praise for goalie Zecira Musovic who kept the Blues in the game with a number of outstanding fingertip saves.
“I thought Zecira had a fantastic game,” she said. ”I thought she controlled well for the team. I’m really, really happy.”
Hayes said the squad needed to get fresh and build again to prepare for Liverpool, the only side to beat the Blues in the league so far this season. “I will not underestimate them,” she added. Kick-off is at 12.30pm on Sunday at Kingsmeadow.