Chelsea FC Women convincingly beat Everton 4-0 in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Sunday and boss Emma Hayes insists the team are starting to ‘find our stride.’
The Blues made club history yesterday by setting a new unbeaten record in the Women’s Super League of 26 games, while securing our 11th successive home league win, to extend our best-ever run. The 4-0 win now puts us third in the league standings with a game in hand.
With just a quarter of an hour gone in the clash, Ji So-Yun unleashed a powerful half-volley on the edge of the box to register her first goal of the season and our domination paid off in the latter stages of the encounter when Bethany England netted a quick-fire brace. Pernille Harder put the cherry on the top of a dazzling Chelsea performance when she struck sensationally in added time.When asked her thoughts on the game, Hayes hailed her team’s performance, while mentioning the impressive work from Jonna Andersson and Maren Mjelde who occupy our full-back positions.‘As always when we talk about winning football matches the forwards always get the credit,’ she said.‘When you lose, defenders or goalkeepers make the error. Our back five have been immense for this team over a long period of time and our full-backs Jonna [Andersson] and Maren [Mjelde] work obsessively to improve all the little details and do all the work unseen without complaint, without ego and are total team players.
‘They give everything to the team and they deserve a special mention both of them for their quiet leadership and I’m happy to hear everybody else recognises it.‘We’re starting to find our stride. What I’ve learnt about coaching world-class players and I have a squad of them, is that if they have the ability to adapt, grow, improve and stay present to give as much to the team as they possibly can, then we have the best possible chance of going where we’re going.‘Managing top talent is not easy but I must credit all of them for being able to do all the things I must mention.‘If I have a group of players that keep progressing daily in a competitive environment and keep giving, then it doesn’t matter who plays in this team,’ Hayes continued.Yesterday England made her third start of the campaign and her performance, which including notching two goals in a matter of minutes, was recognised when she was rewarded with the Barclays FA Women’s Super League player of the match accolade.Hayes spoke about England’s performance and has challenged the 26-year-old to continue to raise the bar and reach the levels that she was at last term.‘As the PFA Player of the Year, the bar was already high for her,’ Hayes said.‘I’ve been clear that I didn’t think she was at the levels in the first part of the season because she had a long Achilles injury and being in rehab for four months is quite a substantial amount of time.‘Even though she only missed two weeks of the pre-season I felt she wasn’t at the levels she set last year.‘I’m happy for her today but my job is to win games, not to make my players happy and it’s up to Beth to make sure that Sunday is the start of another unbelievable run for her. All I’m interested in is how she performs on Wednesday in training.’
The big fixtures are coming thick and fast for Chelsea with our next match being against current league leaders Arsenal on Sunday. The Blues boss knows they will pose a threat to us despite beating them 4-1 in the Continental League Cup last month.‘I think [Vivianne] Miedema is at the best level I’ve ever seen her, she really is. I saw her goals mid-week, they’ve got a team that score for fun, I think they’ve gone up a level with the quality in front of goal this year.‘I’m no fool, I know that Arsenal have recovered from last year and that they are a different level.‘The Continental Cup is a different game, I think the league fixture will be closely fought and as you know players like Miedema are such a difference maker among other players in their team.’
The top-of-the-table with Arsenal takes place at their patch on Sunday with a 2.30pm kick-off. The match is being broadcast live on BT Sport.