Erin Cuthbert’s goal put the cherry on the cake at Kingsmeadow yesterday as Chelsea Women sealed the WSL title in style, and the Scot reflected afterwards on a campaign of graft paying off before looking forward to a showdown with Barcelona in the Champions League final.

Cuthbert’s scrappy finish, by her own admission one of the worst goals she has ever scored, was the fifth in an emphatic 5-0 victory over Reading that gave us the three points required to guarantee a second consecutive league title.

‘Relief, excitement, happiness, and pride,’ were Cuthbert’s emotions as she reflected on the magnitude of the achievement.

‘It’s been a big shift all season. It’s been probably the hardest league it’s ever been, in terms of everything around Covid and not seeing our families, it’s felt longer than this season was. We got through it and we had each other. That has been the most important thing.

‘We have been ruthless all year. We have made Kingsmeadow a fortress this year. Teams coming here have been scared. We wanted to put the fear factor into them.

‘The squad has done brilliant. We have had games in quick succession and we have always been ready. It’s been a squad effort. Every time we train, it’s based around the squad, it’s never been about a team.

‘When you win a league title you have a target on your back,’ added Erin.

‘Everybody wants to beat the champions. We saw that when Brighton beat us earlier in the season. We had to be on it in every single game, and for the most part we were. We have been the most consistent team and we thoroughly deserved this season.’

Fran Kirby, arguably our star performer this term, notched the second and third goals against Reading having been set up by strike partner Sam Kerr. Kirby then repaid the favour with a lofted assist for Kerr to make it 4-0, with that duo yet again combining to lethal effect.

‘Kerrby!’ laughed Erin. ‘I say Kerrburt when I assist Sam!

‘Those two are incredible. We all see what a good connection they’ve got and what a telepathic link-up they have. Fran and Sam don’t even look up when they pass the ball to each other, because they know where each other are.

‘People forget that comes from training, and building a relationship every day. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, and the output is what they’ve done this year.’

An extraordinary season for Emma Hayes’s side reaches its climax in Gothenburg on Sunday when we meet Barcelona for the right to be crowned the champions of Europe.

Cuthbert is determined for the Blues to reach the summit of the game, and she knows just how special it would be if we can get past the Spanish champions.

‘We felt this winning feeling against Bayern in the second leg, and now winning the league. It’s an addictive feeling. You work hard all year for moments like that.

‘We want to be playing in the biggest games, this team should be playing in the biggest games. We have got to the final but we’re not settling for that. That’s not good enough for a squad of our talent.

‘We want to win the Champions League, and we know we’re good enough to win the Champions League. We are facing a good team in Barcelona, but we’re excited.

‘We have the mentality that when we’re on our game, we can do anything. I really believe in this squad. It feels different to previous years I have been here. Hopefully we can go and put on a performance.’