With a seventh Women’s Super League trophy now in our cabinet, we look back on how Chelsea claimed a fifth consecutive title. This is part one of the story of our 2023/24 season…

Our campaign started in October at our club’s home, Stamford Bridge.

And it took only 27 minutes for our American debutant to open the scoring against Tottenham Hotspur. Mia Fishel, who had not long made the move to London from Tigres in the Liga MX Femenil, the highest division of women’s football in Mexico, met a Niamh Charles cross with a glancing header to make it 1-0. We were two to the good not long after half-time as Lauren James netted our second, before Martha Thomas got one back for Spurs as it finished 2-1.

After a first win on the opening day of the season since 2019/20, Emma Hayes heaped praise on our new signing: ‘It’s a dream come true for Mia Fishel. She has earned that. For those who didn’t know who Mia Fishel was before, they certainly do now.’

The Blues were on the road for the first time with a trip to the Joie Stadium to face Manchester City where we played out a 1-1 draw.

Chloe Kelly netted for the hosts with a deflected shot inside the opening 10 minutes. City were reduced to nine players, with red cards shown to Alex Greenwood and Lauren Hemp and it took Chelsea until the dying stages of injury time to find the back of the net, despite having created plenty of chances. Guro Reiten’s 96th-minute equaliser snatched a draw for Hayes’ side.

Sitting third after two games, Chelsea would go on a six-game winning run - beating West Ham, Brighton, Aston Villa, Everton, Liverpool and Leicester – which saw us move three points clear at the top of the WSL table ahead of the December international break.

After the 6-0 rout away at Villa on November 4, in which our captain Millie Bright marked her 250th Chelsea appearance with a goal, it was confirmed that this would be Hayes’ last season at the helm.

A new narrative was now woven into our story as we looked to send off our manager of 12 years with a seventh WSL trophy.

Hat-trick heroes and breakthrough stars

In our 4-2 win over Brighton, our new German international Sjoeke Nusken scored a first senior hat-trick of her career. She was certainly the star of the show at Kingsmeadow on that day, while James was next to take home the match ball as she lit up Stamford Bridge in an emphatic 5-1 victory over Liverpool. It was a first hat-trick in Blue for our number 10 and, perhaps, a sign of what was to come…

Another standout performer in those run of wins was our academy graduate Aggie Beever-Jones, who continued her fine goalscoring form in the 5-2 win over Leicester.

After being at the club since she was eight years old, Beever-Jones made the most of the deserved opportunity given to her this season, becoming a key player for Hayes and the team. Her goal against the Foxes was her fifth in as many WSL games, whether that had been from the starting XI or coming off the bench.

'I’m delighted, and it makes me feel a bit speechless if I’m honest,’ Beever-Jones said after that goal against Leicester back in late November.

‘I don’t think I’d have ever thought when I was a young kid that, after being out on loan, I’d come back and score five in five. But I’m just taking it in my stride.

‘The main thing for me is having good performances; scoring is the bonus. There is a lot I need to work on and this environment is the best environment to do it.’

Bouncing back

We returned to league duty after the international break on December 10 and made the short trip to the Emirates Stadium. Our resolve was tested as we fell to a sore 4-1 defeat, the first loss of our campaign.

Sam Kerr, who skippered the team in Bright’s absence with injury, urged the Blues to bounce back from the result which saw Arsenal move level on points with Chelsea in the WSL table.

‘This will hurt and we’re disappointed for ourselves and our supporters, but the bigger picture is the end of the season’ said Kerr. ‘It is only one game. We don’t like to get too far ahead of ourselves or get too down on ourselves, but this one obviously hurts.'

And bounce back the Blues did as we signed off 2023 with a 3-0 victory away to Bristol City.

James, Erin Cuthbert and Kerr were on the scoresheet, while the win also marked a first Chelsea appearance for goalkeeper Hannah Hampton since joining in the summer. Three points and a clean sheet, not a bad debut in Blue.

The title race was heating up, but the Blues would be in pole position at the turn of the year. We led the way in the table with a three-point advantage over second-placed Manchester City following our win at Ashton Gate.

We finished 2023 with 25 points in the league, winning eight, drawing one and losing one of our 10 games thus far. There was still, as we were to find out, plenty still to come in 2024...

Stay tuned to the Official Chelsea App and chelseafc.com for part two of our WSL title-winning review on Sunday!