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Hayes and Kirby win manager and player of the month awards

Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes and Blues forward Fran Kirby have won the Barclays FA WSL Manager and Player of the Month awards for January.

Hayes was nominated for the award after leading her side to four league victories in January and beat off competition from Manchester United boss Casey Stoney and Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor.

Kirby, alongside Blues team-mate Melanie Leupolz, was nominated for the Player of the Month award following a run of impressive performances from the England international.

The striker was voted the winner ahead of other nominees Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly, of Manchester City, and Manchester United’s Ella Toone.

Hayes managed the Blues to a 5-0 victory at Reading to begin 2021 in style, with Kirby netting four goals in the win over her former side at the Madejski Stadium.

A week later and Chelsea came up against an in-form Manchester United side and a 2-1 victory at Kingsmeadow saw Hayes’ side equal the record for the longest unbeaten streak in the Women’s Super League to leapfrog United at the top of the table.

United forward Lauren James had cancelled out Pernille Harder’s opener before an in-form Kirby scored the winner to give us a much-deserved victory.

Following our Continental League Cup quarter-final win at Manchester City, Chelsea returned to league action with a trip to WSL newcomers Aston Villa.

Hayes guided her side to a 4-0 victory with goals from Sam Kerr, Bethany England, Harder and skipper Magda Eriksson earning a record-breaking triumph.

Our win in the Midlands saw Chelsea set a new WSL record, extending our unbeaten run to 32 matches.

Chelsea recorded a 4-0 win over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Kingsmeadow to end January on a high, with the Blues extending our winning streak to nine games.

Two goals from German international Leupolz and a goal apiece for Harder and Kerr secured the three points to keep Chelsea at the top of the league and complete a perfect month for the Blues.

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