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Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Chelsea Women vs Aston Villa Women. Women's Super League.

Kingsmeadow StadiumAttendance1,801.

Chelsea Women 3

  • A Beever-Jones (18th minute)
  • M Hamano (38th minute)
  • K Buchanan (64th minute)

Aston Villa Women 0

  • A Leat (sent off 4th minute)

Chelsea Women 3-0 Aston Villa Women: Maika Hamano scores first Blues goal as Emma Hayes' side return top of WSL

Report and free match highlights from the Barclays Women's Super League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday night; goals from Aggie Beever-Jones, Maika Hamano and Kadeisha Buchanan help Emma Hayes' side leapfrog Man City into top spot

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Watch highlights of the Women's Super League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa

Chelsea put a difficult few weeks behind them to leapfrog Man City at the top of the WSL after a 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

On March 31, the Blues lost to Arsenal in the Conti Cup final and, on Sunday, were knocked out of the FA Cup semi-finals by Manchester United, too.

They were handed a huge early advantage as they looked to continue their quest for a fifth straight league title, when Villa goalkeeper Anna Leat was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside the box.

Aggie Beever-Jones then put Emma Hayes' side in front and Maika Hamano doubled the lead before the break, with Kadeisha Buchanan adding the gloss just after the hour.

Chelsea's fourth straight WSL win sees them return top, level on points with City, but with a superior goal difference. Aston Villa stay seventh.

WSL race for the title

How Chelsea put Cup heartache behind them

Dreams of a fairy-tale farewell for Emma Hayes were starting to dwindle after the two aforementioned cup exits.

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Early red card for Aston Villa goalkeeper Anna Leat for handling the ball out of the area!

But it was clear the footballing gods were looking kindly upon them at Kingsmeadow as, before the game had even settled into any sort of rhythm, Aston Villa were down to 10 players.

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Sjoeke Nusken seized on a loose pass from Rachel Corsie and, after spotting Leat off her line, tried a shot from 30 yards. It went wide, but only after Leat had managed to get a touch on the ball outside the area, leaving referee Mel Burgin with no option but to dismiss her.

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Aggie Beever-Jones gets the opener for Chelsea against Aston Villa in WSL.

Villa dealt with the disadvantage reasonably well to begin with, but found themselves behind when Beever-Jones got on the end of Niamh Charles' cross and hooked a shot under replacement 'keeper Sophia Poor for her seventh WSL goal of the season.

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Maika Hamano doubles Chelsea lead over Aston Villa in WSL.

It was two after 38 minutes, when Ashley Lawrence got the better of Rachel Daly on the right-hand side of the box and sent in a cross that was turned home by Hamano after the slightest of touches by Catarina Macario.

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Kadeisha Buchanan's looping header from a Catarina Macario corner makes it three for Chelsea against Aston Villa.

Chelsea added a third with just over an hour gone, when Buchanan leapt high in the box to meet a corner from Macario and loop a header over Sophia Poor, who struggled throughout the second half with an apparent leg injury.

They did have further chances to extend the lead through Fran Kirby and Mayra Ramirez, before Sophie Ingle's header was hacked off the line in stoppage time, but three goals were enough to do the job and keep an intriguing title race ticking along.

Ward: Credit how Villa reacted with 10 players

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Carla Ward hails her Aston Villa side and young goalkeeper Sophia Poor after playing nearly the whole game at Chelsea with ten players after Anna Leat's early red card.

Aston Villa boss Carla Ward told Sky Sports:

"The game plan had to change before the teams came out with the change in the warm-up, and then again after four minutes.

"But you can roll over, or you can roll your sleeves up. It's difficult coming here with 11 players, let alone 10. Sophia Poor, her first senior appearance, her and the players deserve a lot of credit tonight.

"It was a strain [she suffered], something the physios have tried to strap up. It might seize up, but she wanted to stay on - and we didn't have a third goalkeeper! Rachel Corsie would've been next up, I think.

"So much has been chucked at us, but we've got on with it and dug deep. There'll be some tired bodies but they're a credit to themselves with how they've reacted."

Hayes happy to see Blues break winless streak

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Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes admits she was disappointed to see Aston Villa goalkeeper Anna Leat sent off so early into the game.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes told Sky Sports:

"I hate that rule [that saw Leat sent off]. I don't really like it, to be honest with you. I know it serves as an advantage to us, but it's just one of those rules in football I don't like, a goalkeeper getting sent off for that. But I understand it was a goal-scoring situation.

"When you have to play against 10 players, the mentality of 10 is always to make it a lot harder and I thought Aston Villa did really well to stay in the game for as long as they did.

"We have to just focus on what we can control. We've got three points and we broke a losing streak, that's important.

"I'm happy to get three points - and I'm happy to get in my car and go home!"

What's next?

Chelsea head to Barcelona for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Saturday April 20. Kick-off 12.30pm. The second leg takes place at Stamford Bridge on Saturday April 27 at 5.30pm.

Chelsea's Women's Super League title bid continues at Liverpool on Wednesday May 1, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 7pm.

Aston Villa host West Ham in their next WSL fixture on Sunday April 28. Kick-off 2pm.

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