Forward Fran Kirby praised Chelsea FC Women’s performance after we produced an emphatic 5-0 victory at Reading in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Sunday.

It had been over three weeks since Emma Hayes’ side last took to the field due to the Christmas break but the Blues continued where we left of and hit the ground running in our first fixture of 2021.

Kirby netted a first-half perfect hat-trick against her former club to put the Blues in full control at the break.

The England international then headed home a Guro Reiten corner before substitute Ji So-Yun completed the scoring seconds before the full-time whistle, and Kirby was delighted with the team’s performance at the Madejski Stadium.She said: ‘When you come into games when you’ve had a break you never really know where you are going to be.‘We’ve had a really top week of training, everyone’s looked really sharp coming back in and maybe a lot sharper than we anticipated.‘It took us a little while to get going in terms of the first 10 minutes. We were getting the cobwebs out and finding our feet but I think after that we were ruthless and looked really sharp.'It was really good to see everyone firing on all cylinders.’

Kirby was certainly firing on all cylinders but speaking at full-time, the 27-year-old was quick to praise the team’s defensive effort which earned the Blues our fourth consecutive clean sheet.

Kirby added: ‘We were really clinical today and I think getting the clean sheet is just as important.

‘It shows that even though we go 3-0 up at half-time, we stayed defensively solid and switched on for the whole of the 90 minutes.

‘It was a good win and for me personally I’m really happy to get on the scoresheet.'

Kirby and her team-mates will be hoping for another defensive shutout when league leaders Manchester United visit Kingsmeadow this weekend.

It will be first versus second in the Women’s Super League on Sunday afternoon and although Kirby expects a difficult clash with Casey Stoney’s side, the forward insists the Blues will be ready.

‘It’s going to be really tough,’ admitted Kirby. ‘We played them the first game of the season and we got a 1-1 draw away from home which in hindsight we look back on now and it’s a really good point.

‘They are coming to our home. We’ve got to be ready and I’m sure after another good week of training we will be ready to go.

‘Everyone’s excited for the game, we want to keep on playing and keep on winning.’