Emma Hayes praised the signs of improvement from her Chelsea Women’s side against West Ham United in the first round of the Continental Tyres Cup at Kingsmeadow.
The Blues returned to our KT1 home for the first time this season on Sunday in front of more than 3,000 supporters for our opening Continental Tyres Cup fixture, with both Bethany England and Guro Reiten scoring second-half goals.
England netted her second goal of the season five minutes after the break when Chelsea’s captain Magdalena Eriksson played a clever ball across goal to the no.9 who finished clinically past Anna Moorhouse.
The second goal resulted from a Reiten corner kick with 20 minutes left of the clock. The Norwegian international whipped a ball in from the left and although the goal was announced as hers, it appeared to be helped in due to taking a deflection off the Hammers goalkeeper.
Hayes was seeking more from the group ahead of this London derby following on from last weekend’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion in the WSL.
‘It’s a competition we’ve never won and we’ll always commit to producing strong performances in every competition, and that was the response I was looking for from the team,’ Hayes said.
Read: Chelsea 2-0 West Ham match report
‘We deserved to win the game. We talked about West Ham being an up-and-coming side, overall we showed our class and quality to win the game.’
The Chelsea boss admitted West Ham made it difficult for her side, especially in the first half, but is pleased with her teams much-improved performance after the break.
‘Every team is going to make it hard for us. It’s not straight forward that you’re going to win games week in week out, you have to earn it.
‘The players can be proud of the effort of training last week. I’m happier with the chances we created, the numbers we had going forward, the intensity, the aggression and the ability to maintain it – that’s crucial if you want to compete.’The Continental Tyres Cup remains the only domestic honour Chelsea are yet to win and with the frustrations of missing out on reaching the final last year after defeat to rivals Manchester City, it will be a main priority to go one further this campaign.
Our next Continental Tyres Cup match is on Sunday 20 October away to Championship side Crystal Palace, but next up for the Blues is a trip to the south-west where we face Bristol in the WSL on Sunday.
Our next home game takes place on Sunday 13 October against reigning WSL champions Arsenal at Kingsmeadow.