open menulivescore

Chelsea back on WSL summit after taking advantage of early Aston Villa red card
Copy icon

Robert O'Connor
Press Association
Chelsea returned to winning ways (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Chelsea returned to winning ways (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Chelsea moved to the top of the Women’s Super League table as they eased to a comfortable 3-0 home win over Aston Villa, who played virtually the entire game with 10 players after the sending off of goalkeeper Anna Leat.

Emma Hayes’ side squeaked ahead of Manchester City at the summit with four games to play, deposing the leaders on goal difference after efforts from Aggie Beever-Jones, Maika Hamano and Kadeisha Buchanan ensured they took advantage of the visitors’ early misfortune.

The game turned on the decision to dismiss Leat when she handled outside the box in a desperate attempt to keep Sjoeke Nusken’s effort from rolling in.

The New Zealand international was herself deputising for injured number one Daphne van Domselaar, leading to an unscripted debut for Carla Ward’s third-choice goalkeeper, the 17-year-old Sophia Poor.

For Hayes’ side, it was a commanding win that saw them narrowly reclaim their place at the top. They lead City by two goals, and the manager was vindicated in her decision to make seven changes from the team that lost to Manchester United in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.

With Barcelona to come on Saturday in the first leg of their Champions League last-four tie, Lauren James was amongst those left out, with the England forward understood to be nursing a foot injury.

Villa suffered a dismal start at Kingsmeadow. In the third minute, Nusken tried to catch Leat out of her goal with a low shot from 30 yards.

The goalkeeper, in a frantic bid to recover, reached out and finger-tipped the ball wide, but did so outside of her area and was promptly shown a red card.

Ward sacrificed forward Ebony Salmon for substitute Poor, the former Leicester keeper sent on in less than ideal circumstances for a first WSL appearance.

Villa’s resistance lasted all of 18 minutes. Fran Kirby controlled a high ball down the left from Sophie Ingle and knocked it back to Niamh Charles.

The captain whipped over a devilish cross that was hooked brilliantly first time back towards goal by Beever-Jones, spinning in to the corner beyond Poor, who was impeded in her efforts to claw the ball away by her own player Miri Taylor.

It was two before half-time. Ashley Lawrence’s initial cross was blocked by Rachel Daly, but as the pair went toe-to-toe for the loose ball Chelsea’s full-back got their first, dispatching a cut-back which was helped on by the deftest flick from Catarina Macario before Hamano shovelled it home.

The third goal arrived just after the hour mark. Macario swung over a corner from the left, Buchanan rose with Anna Patten and the Villa defender’s attempted clearance ricocheted off the head of her Chelsea counterpart and in.


Aston Villa WomenChelsea FC Women
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

App storeGoogle play