Chelsea thrash Birmingham as Sam Kerr scores hat-trick - Women's Super League round-up

Chelsea remain two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table; City beat Tottenham 3-0 to claim an 11th consecutive WSL victory; Wins elsewhere for Brighton, Everton and Arsenal

Chelsea's Sam Kerr celebrates after scoring a hat-trick against Birmingham in WSL
Image: Chelsea's Sam Kerr celebrates after scoring a hat-trick against Birmingham in WSL

Women's Super League leaders Chelsea maintained their two-point lead at the top with a 6-0 win over Birmingham but Manchester City responded with a win of their own.

In-form Sam Kerr completed a first-half hat-trick as Chelsea outclassed struggling Birmingham.

The Blues had to wait until the 25th minute to break the deadlock, when Erin Cuthbert struck an angled drive that forced Hannah Hampton to produce a save only for Kerr to convert the rebound with a close-range effort.

On the stroke of half-time, Chelsea doubled their lead through Australia international Kerr, who reacted quickly to bundle a header past Hampton.

Pernille Harder's header struck the post but Chelsea claimed their third goal after Cuthbert whipped a wonderful cross that found Kerr, whose header at the far post completed her hat-trick.

There was no let-up from Emma Hayes' side after the break and they scored a fourth after some great build-up play between Niamh Charles and Bethany England on the right found Fran Kirby, who slotted the ball into the net in the 61st
minute.

Kirby then turned provider and executed a low cross to find Guro Reiten, who converted to give Chelsea their fifth goal of the game.

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Chelsea added their sixth goal late on through England star Kirby, who did brilliantly to burst into the box and strike a curling effort past Hampton.

Manchester City kept their Women's Super League title hopes alive with a 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur.

Man City players celebrate Janine Beckie's goal against Tottenham in WSL
Image: Man City players celebrate Janine Beckie's goal against Tottenham in WSL

Second-placed City took the lead through a Rebecca Spencer own goal in the fifth minute and Janine Beckie scored a superb second to finish off a sweeping counter-attack in the 38th, with Caroline Weir adding a third just after the hour mark.

Everton recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since October with a 3-1 victory over Women's Super League bottom side Aston Villa at Walton Hall Park.

Goals from Lucy Graham, Izzy Christiansen and Simone Magill handed Willie Kirk's side three points in a game with two penalties and a disallowed goal on Easter Sunday.

Inessa Kaagman scored the only goal as sixth-placed Brighton avenged their heavy 3-0 October defeat by Manchester United with a 1-0 triumph over Casey Stoney's side in Crawley.

Arsenal moved up to third in the WSL table after beating Bristol City 4-0 with two goals from Vivianne Miedema.

Danielle van de Donk and Beth Mead were also on the scoresheet in a dominant away performance.

Hayes: Kerr 'gazelle-like' in the box

Sam Kerr celebrates her first-half hat-trick 0:45
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes lauded Kerr after her first-half hat-trick against Birmingham and compared the forward's movements to a gazelle

Emma Hayes applauded Chelsea's professional performance and singled out Kerr for special praise.

"That third goal I thought she was going to leap out of the stadium," Hayes said.

"She delivers the fatal blow just when the team needs it. These games can be tricky if you don't get the first goal but she pounces, cat-like, gazelle-like, in the right moments.

"The confidence and intelligence from her is growing each week and is thoroughly deserving of a hat-trick.

"It was a performance that the whole squad equally contributed, which everybody had to be in the same level.

"This was the first game this season that I thought no matter who I put in, there wasn't going to be a drop in standards.

"These games can be tricky if we don't get the first goal early enough.

"For us to win the title, we have to win every game which is always a challenge considering our schedule, so we will fight right till the end."

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