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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Taha Hashim

Chelsea 2-0 West Ham: Women’s Super League – as it happened

Erin Cuthbert celebrates her goal
Erin Cuthbert jumps for joy as she finishes off the Hammers. Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock

Right, here’s Sophie Downey’s excellent report. That’s enough from me – thanks for reading.

Charles, the player of the match, speaks to Sky:

“We had to work hard for it, but delighted with the three points. It’s our first clean sheet [this season] so that’s what you build a winning run off, being hard to break down.

“West Ham started the game really well and they made us work for it, so that first goal probably settled us down a bit.

“That’s something we’ve been working on this year, how can the wingers provide the width so our more creative players in the middle can get on the ball and overload in there. That’s definitely a role that I take on and I’m more than happy to do it, do the running so the more creative players can get on the ball in the dangerous areas.”

Niamh Charles, I should add, was terrific for Chelsea down the left-hand side, particularly in the second half, relentlessly bombing forward to cause West Ham bother. Her cross for Kerr’s goal was pinpoint, too.

So Chelsea move to the top of the pile in the WSL, back to winning ways after their point against Manchester City last weekend.

FULL TIME: Chelsea 2-0 West Ham

A solid, comfortable victory. West Ham put in a good shift but Chelsea moved that ball around nicely in the second half, Cuthbert pulling the strings after she came on. She earned that goal, following on from Sam Kerr’s header in the first half.

90+4 min: There were five minutes added on, by the way. Chelsea, enjoying themselves out there, could probably stay out for longer.

90+3 min: Beever-Jones cuts in from the left and launches a terrific, dipping effort from outside the box – Arnold leaps high to tip it over. What a cracking save that is.


GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 West Ham (Cuthbert 90)

The excellent Cuthbert picks up the ball in the middle, plays a one-two with Fleming that cuts through the West Ham backline, and then finds herself one on one in the box with Arnold. Only one winner there.

Erin Cuthebert scores for Chelsea
Cuthebert wraps it up for the Blues. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images/Reuters


90 min: Chelsea playing triangles with their passing at the back before Carter goes long – Chelsea win a throw out on the left.

88 min: Cissoko is hobbling off the pitch. Not looking great, and she’s going to have to make way for Tysiak.

87 min: Cuthbert’s put in a classy display since coming on and she finds Leupolz, who drives forward from the halfway line before striking with her left foot. Straight to Arnold, though.

86 min: Arnold punches away a Cuthbert cross.

85 min: Denton crosses into the box, but it’s headed away and Chelsea regain possession, passing tidily through the middle.

84 min: West Ham still in this, but every wave going forward is met by a barrage of blue.

82 min: Beever-Jones finds the ball out on the right, but Cissoko races back and pulls off a terrific sliding challenge. She even manages to make sure it’s a goalkick, the final touch a Chelsea one.

80 min: Smith tries to find Denton on the right wing for West Ham, but Carter cleans up to force a throw.

79 min: Mjelde’s effort finds the wall. Chelsea work it around again and Cuthbert has a go outside of the box, and it’s just wide of the post.

78 min: Leupolz takes a brilliant first touch off a Cuthbert pass to break into the box, but she’s brought down. Free kick on the edge for Chelsea. Kerr and James go off, Fleming and Beever-Jones on.

77 min: Kerr finds the ball on the right, but she can’t find Nusken free in the box.

75 min: Lawrence is caught offside – but she’s looking a real threat on that right-hand side for Chelsea.

74 min: Possession stats pop up on the screen – Chelsea have had 90% of the ball over the last 10 minutes.

71 min: James passes on to the overlapping Charles on the left. The ball then breaks for James in the box, but she can’t get a shot away. She’s down now, having hurt herself in the process. Time for drinks.

70 min: Free kick for Chelsea as Smith pushes Kerr down. It’s centre-left, and Cuthbert has a shot. Gets it over the wall, but Arnold holds on comfortably.

69 min: Lawrence causing havoc on the right, Charles doing the same on the left. Chelsea are winning the battle on the wings.

67 min: Nusken volleys wide. Chelsea’s second seems imminent.

67 min: Charles sends in a low cross from the left for Chelsea and it rattles off Kirsty Smith, nearly leading to an own goal, but Arnold saves. Corner.

66 min: One change for West Ham – Harries is off for Atkinson.

65 min: Lawrence plays in James with a wonderful inside pass, but the forward drags the ball across the far post, shooting from the right.

64 min: Nice one-two out on the right from Chelsea between James and Lawrence. A cross comes into the West Ham box, but is dealt with.

63 min: No bother from the corner.

62 min: Nusken and Cuthbert, the newbies on the pitch, get a few touches as Chelsea knock it about in midfield before Carter pings long for Charles to run onto from the left wing. Her first touch gets her into the box, and she wins a corner.

60 min: Leupolz tries to find the driving Lawrence with a ball over the top, but it’s too heavy.

59 min: Asseyi attacks down the right for West Ham but there are two Chelsea shirts on her, and the end result is a goalkick.

58 min: Hayashi plays a lovely ball through the middle to find Ueki who drifts to the right before firing in a low shot from the edge of the box – but it’s not got the power and accuracy to cause any danger.

56 min: Two changes for Chelsea - Cuthbert and Nusken on, Ingle and Kirby off.

54 min: Chelsea pass it around in midfield but can’t get the killer ball to come off.

51 min: A Kirsty Smith shot is tipped over for another corner, and West Ham are beginning to pose a threat.


50 min: Hayashi’s ball into the box is cleared away, falling to Kirsty Smith, who tries to drive a shot in from the edge of the box. It leads to another corner.

49 min: Hayashi plays a ball through Carter’s legs to play in Ueki, who wins a corner with her effort.

48 min: The ball switches to the left, but nothing comes from Chelsea’s possession in the West Ham half, and they’re forced back to Bright and Carter knocking it about at the back.


47 min: Quite a bit of knockabout at the back from Chelsea before Leupolz and Lawrence drive down the right…

46 min: Chelsea pass it about with ease, Kerr dropping deep to get an early look at the ball.

We’re about to get going again at Kingsmeadow. Chelsea to kick off.

HALF TIME: Chelsea 1-0 West Ham

Chelsea were dominant but a touch slow to begin with, and then found their flow in the second part of that half. Kerr’s goal was an excellent bit of attacking play: the high press followed by a fine cross from Charles, and then the neat finish, the header going back across the goal to beat Arnold.


45+1 min: Chelsea counter, and Kirby shows strength to win the ball back on the right. But no more drama in the half as the whistle goes.

45 min: Ueki finds herself shaping up for an ambitious volley outside the box, but doesn’t get the desired connection.

43 min: Kirby plays a delightful ball through the middle to play in James, who looks set to slot in for the second Chelsea goal, but Arnold stands up, stays watchful and pulls off a top save.

42 min: Chelsea keep winning the ball high up the pitch, and West Ham could do with the whistle blowing now.

40 min: Lawrence plays a lovely ball for Kerr to run onto in the box, but Cissoko gets in the way of the cutback.

39 min: Lisa Evans plays a nice ball into the box, but Asseyi’s header goes wide.

GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 West Ham (Kerr 36)

Brilliant and ruthless from Chelsea. West Ham are caught dawdling on the edge of their box, lose it, Kirby splits the defence by playing in Charles on the left, who hangs up a ball for Kerr to head in at the back post.

Sam Kerr scores a headed goal
Sam Kerr rises to head Chelsea into the lead. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images/Reuters


35 min: Too much power on the ball from Mjelde, and Bright’s header at the far post goes out of play.

34 min: Nothing productive from the corner, but Chelsea win a free kick out on the left – Cissoko gets a yellow for taking out Leupolz.

33 min: James drifts into the middle again and plays a lovely ball, outside of the boot, to find Kerr, who wins a corner.

31 min: James crosses into the middle and Kerr gets low for a diving header, but can’t get it on target.

30 min: Kirby wins the ball in the final third, and tries to play a one-two with Sam Kerr, but the Australian is offside.

29 min: Brilliant from Lauren James, driving from the right into the middle before moving the ball onto the left wing. West Ham force Chelsea back again, though, their defensive shape proving too difficult to cut through at the moment.

27 min: … no dice from it, and Chelsea are forced to build again from their defence.

26 min: Corner for Chelsea and Bright gets a head on it, the ball trickling past the post after a deflection – another corner…


24 min: Ueki’s played through and looks like she’s clear for a drive into the box and shot, but she’s chased down and dealt with by Chelsea’s defence – specifically Bright and Mjelde.


22 min: James drops back to collect the ball and switch to Niamh Charles on the other wing, but Chelsea then lose it in the middle.

21 min: James chases a long ball down the right wing for Chelsea, but Shannon Cooke shields it and wins a goalkick.

20 min: Leupolz makes a driving run into the West Ham box before cutting back to James, who shoots first time on her left foot but doesn’t get a good connection on it, finding a body and not the target.

19 min: Jess Carter is fouled by Asseyi while clearing the ball from her box.


18 min: Tidy passing in midfield from Chelsea but Asseyi does brilliantly to win the ball and then drive through the middle – Leupolz is late in the challenge to take her down and gets a yellow for her efforts.

16 min: Harries wins the ball off Ingle in the middle of the park and drives forward before playing in Ueki, but the Japan international can’t get her feet right to launch a tester.

15 min: Lisa Evans races into the box and gets away a shot from the right… but can’t properly test Musovic.

13 min: Chelsea now knocking it about well – and in control.

12 min: No dramas from the corner, but Chelsea press well to regain the ball, and James plays in Ingle, who shoots inside the box… it’s blocked and falls for Kerr who slots into an empty goal. But, alas, offside once more.

11 min: Quick feet in the box from James, but the ball doesn’t break properly for her to get a shot away and it’s out for a corner.

10 min: James cuts in from the right and looks like she’s gonna have a shot… but it’s a nice ball for Kerr, who heads wide. Offside anyway, though.

7 min: Arnold plays it along the carpet from the back as West Ham build through the middle, the ball then switching to the right-wing before a cross comes in for Emma Harries, but she can’t get it away while in the box. Top play that, though, from the visitors with some lovely, quick passes.


6 min: Leupolz finds room outside the box to get a shot away, but West Ham keeper Arnold has no trouble, diving low to her right to clean up.

5 min: Carter goes long down the Chelsea left wing, but the ball’s eventually snuffed out.

Lauren James battles with Shannon Cooke.
Lauren James battles with Shannon Cooke. Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock


3 min: West Ham counter well after a Chelsea corner, but Fran Kirby tracks back brilliantly to stop the attack with a crunching tackle. Top effort from the forward.


1 min: Free kick near the halfway line for West Ham, but it goes too long and out for a goalkick to Chelsea.

Here we go! Ueki kicks off for West Ham.

First, a moment of silence for the innocent victims in Israel and Palestine.

Alright, we’re nearly ready. Teams are out there, skippers are chatting to the refs. Get the kettle on, quick.

And now Rehanne Skinner’s turn to chat about her time so far in charge at West Ham:

“We’re getting a bit more confidence on the ball… we’ve been quite clinical in front of goal at times as well which has been really good. One of the things we wanted to try and adjust was the way we were in terms of defending set-plays… and we haven’t conceded from that so far, so that’s a real positive.”


Emma Hayes speaks to Sky about the inclusions of Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby, both starting in the WSL for the first time this season.

“They’re two top football players and we get the opportunity to put them together today, and as I’ve said all along, we don’t always get the chance to play the same players every week but that’s what a squad’s about. And for us this week, at home at Kingsmeadow, is the right moment to put them together.”

And here’s a great Q&A with Jen Beattie.

Before we get stuck in, here’s some reading on last weekend in the WSL.

The teams

Chelsea: Musovic, Bright (c), Ingle, Carter, Leupolz, James, Lawrence, Kirby, Mjelde, Kerr, Charles

Subs: Berger, Nusken, Perisset, Fleming, Kaneryd, Cuthbert, Buchanan, Cankovic, Beever-Jones

West Ham: Arnold (c), Smith, Shimizu, Evans, Ueki, Harries, Denton, Hayashi, Asseyi, Cooke, Cissoko

Subs: Walsh, Stringer, Tysiak, Atkinson, Filis, Ademiluyi, Flannery


Well, it was a bit of a weird one for the champions last weekend. Manchester City were reduced to nine players after Alex Greenwood and Lauren Hemp were sent off, but it was Chelsea who were trailing 1-0 for most of the match, with Guro Reiten’s 96th-minute equaliser saving them. The good news, then, is that Emma Hayes’ side are still unbeaten, having beaten Spurs in their season opener.

West Ham had a nicer time, beating Brighton 2-0, with summer signing Riko Ueki getting on the scoresheet. Charlton were then beaten in the League Cup in the week… but here comes the bad news: Chelsea are 11-0 up against West Ham this year. A seven-goal League Cup demolition in February was followed by a four-nil in the WSL three months later. Eek.

Anywho, the two sides meet at Kingsmeadow today, with kick-off at 5.30pm BST. I’ll be here with you all the way - feel free to drop me a line.

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