Manager Emma Hayes was pleased with Chelsea FC Women’s performance against Tottenham Hotspur, as the Blues picked up three points after a 4-0 victory yesterday to maintain top spot in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
The Blues stretched our unbeaten league run to 33 games at Kingsmeadow on Sunday afternoon with the player of the match Melanie Leupolz netting a brace and Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr both notching a goal apiece.
It was a slow start for Emma Hayes’ side, with our opening goal coming just shy of the half-hour mark, despite having an abundance of possession. However, Chelsea grew into the game and the Blues put three past our visitors in a space of 10 minutes.
‘Until the first goal we were sloppy, we were slow in our build-up, we played into their hands and the bodies they had in the inside of the pitch,’ Hayes reflected.
‘Our decision making and composure struggled until the first goal. We made some adjustments just prior to that which helped and from there on we dominated.
‘With so much experience you have to be calm under pressure and it’s important to recognise that you’re not going to dominate for 90 minutes but when the momentum is not with, you work hard to keep a clean sheet in that moment.
‘I know there is an expectation for this team to just win all of the time and perform amazingly all of the time but we are humans, maybe sometimes we’re not at our best but I don’t think it hurt us, it reminds us of the things we need to do to be at our best.’
The Chelsea boss once again highlighted the quality that she has at her disposal and stressed the importance of her players remaining focused on the task in hand: challenging for trophies.
‘That is always a strength if everybody can stay committed to the cause, that’s the challenging part when you’ve got so much depth is the sacrifice for self sometimes for what the team needs week to week.
‘This is a good moment for us in the season, our confidence is high, the confidence across the squad is high and for that reason, and that’s why you’re seeing a higher level of performance from the team regardless of who plays and my challenge now is to maintain that standard.’
One player in particular who received a special mention from Hayes was our German midfielder Leupolz, who broke the deadlock with a lethal strike from range, as well as calmly converting from the spot in the second half to ensure any comeback was out of sight for our London rivals.‘I’m so blessed with so many good players, Sophie Ingle who is a top midfielder was on the bench.
‘I asked Melly at half time if Sophie had taught her how to shoot like that knowing the strike that Sophie hit the other week.
‘We’ve got so much quality, from week to week we’re able to provide opportunities for lots more players because the quality is so high in training.
‘Melanie Leupolz has been an unbelievable signing for us this season, she brings the energy, the tenacity and also the composure, the calmness and the leadership that adds to what we already have.'
The Blues have one game in hand over second-placed Manchester United, who are also on the same number of points as us, and our next league game takes place on Sunday against Brighton & Hove Albion.
However, prior to then, Chelsea are aiming to overcome West Ham in the semi-final of the Continental League Cup on Wednesday. The match kicks off at 5pm at Kingsmeadow and will be available to watch on the FA Player.