The FA Women's Super League
Chelsea Women2Sunderland Ladies1

Chelsea Ladies 2-1 Sunderland Ladies

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Highlights: Chelsea on brink of WSL title after Sunderland win

Chelsea moved within just one point of the Women's Super League One title with two games to go as they beat Sunderland soon after rivals Manchester City lost.

Victory ensured that Chelsea can secure a league and cup double if they avoid defeat at Bristol City on Tuesday.

Fran Kirby's heavily-deflected strike and Eni Aluko's close-range finish gave Emma Hayes's side a two-goal lead.

Sunderland pulled one back through Keira Ramshaw's late, crisp finish off the post, but defeat kept them ninth.

Hayes' side, who beat Bristol City 6-0 on the season's opening weekend in the reverse fixture, are bidding to reclaim the title they first won in 2015.

Saturday's win over the Lady Black Cats on a wet night at Kingsmeadow put them six points clear of City, whose defeat at Arsenal was their second in a row since going above Chelsea on goal difference on 3 May.

Kirby somewhat fortuitously opened the scoring when her shot was deflected and looped over keeper Rachael Laws.

Midfielder Katie Chapman, who was playing in her final home game for the club before retiring this summer, was unlucky not to score when she struck the inside of the post from long range.

Aluko doubled the hosts' lead with a first-time finish after the break, before a late scare from the visitors, but Chelsea held on.

Aluko set for summer transfer?

Speaking after the game, Aluko hinted at a summer departure from the club, saying it was "likely" to have been her final home game at Chelsea.

The 31-year-old was understood to have been in talks with French side Paris St-Germain and one other overseas team, in January.

"We were really consistent," the England international said. "Today we proved the strength of the squad. Emma Hayes rotated the team and trusted the players who have sat on the bench.

"I felt good as soon as I got on the pitch today, I felt I had a good feeling, I have felt sharp all year and I am really focused on training.

"If it is to be my last home game today, which it is likely to be, then I really feel very proud to have finished off by scoring and to have given the Chelsea fans a goal."

Sunderland defender Rachel Pitman:

"We are obviously disappointed with the result, but if we look back on previous games against them, to see how far we have come, we had plenty of chances on the pitch today and I think in previous games against them we have not had chances.

"So from that aspect we have to take a lot of positives from our performances.

"We thought we could get a goal and put them under pressure. Unfortunately it came a little too late in the end."

Line-ups

Chelsea Women

  • 28Telford
  • 4Bright
  • 5Flaherty
  • 2Thorisdottir
  • 7Davison
  • 18Mjelde
  • 17ChapmanSubstituted forCooperat 83'minutes
  • 20AnderssonSubstituted forRaffertyat 59'minutes
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 14KirbySubstituted forBachmannat 67'minutes
  • 9Aluko

Substitutes

  • 1Lindahl
  • 3Blundell
  • 11Rafferty
  • 21Cooper
  • 23Bachmann
  • 24Spence

Sunderland Ladies

  • 1Laws
  • 16Pitman
  • 14Sharp
  • 6Williams
  • 5Sjoman
  • 8LipkaSubstituted forBruinenbergat 70'minutes
  • 11Wyne
  • 18Lambert
  • 37Staniforth
  • 17Joice
  • 7Ramshaw

Substitutes

  • 4Stewart
  • 9Koren
  • 20Bruinenberg
  • 23Griffiths
  • 28Galloway
  • 31Preuss
Referee:
Abby Marriott
Attendance:
1,940

Match Stats

Home TeamChelsea WomenAway TeamSunderland Ladies
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home14
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home3
Away4

Live Text

Match ends, Chelsea Ladies 2, Sunderland Ladies 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Chelsea Ladies 2, Sunderland Ladies 1.

Attempt missed. Dominique Bruinenberg (Sunderland Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Offside, Chelsea Ladies. Deanna Cooper tries a through ball, but Ramona Bachmann is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Chelsea Ladies 2, Sunderland Ladies 1. Keira Ramshaw (Sunderland Ladies) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lucy Staniforth.

Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea Ladies) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Victoria Williams (Sunderland Ladies).

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea Ladies. Deanna Cooper replaces Katie Chapman.

Foul by Gemma Davison (Chelsea Ladies).

Abbey Joice (Sunderland Ladies) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea Ladies) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ramona Bachmann with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Chelsea Ladies. Conceded by Hayley Sharp.

Attempt blocked. Maren Mjelde (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gemma Davison with a cross.

Attempt missed. Keira Ramshaw (Sunderland Ladies) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lucy Staniforth.

Attempt saved. Millie Bright (Chelsea Ladies) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ramona Bachmann with a cross.

Maren Mjelde (Chelsea Ladies) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lucy Staniforth (Sunderland Ladies).

Attempt saved. Lucy Staniforth (Sunderland Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Offside, Sunderland Ladies. Abbey Joice tries a through ball, but Lucy Staniforth is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Abbey Joice (Sunderland Ladies) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Zaneta Wyne.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland Ladies. Dominique Bruinenberg replaces Kasia Lipka because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kasia Lipka (Sunderland Ladies) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Maren Mjelde (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Gemma Davison.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea Ladies. Ramona Bachmann replaces Francesca Kirby.

Delay in match Kasia Lipka (Sunderland Ladies) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Rachel Pitman (Sunderland Ladies) left footed shot from long range on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea Ladies. Claire Rafferty replaces Jonna Andersson.

Goal!

Goal! Chelsea Ladies 2, Sunderland Ladies 0. Eniola Aluko (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner.

Corner, Chelsea Ladies. Conceded by Victoria Williams.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Victoria Williams (Sunderland Ladies) because of an injury.

Corner, Sunderland Ladies. Conceded by Maria Thorisdottir.

Second Half

Second Half begins Chelsea Ladies 1, Sunderland Ladies 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Chelsea Ladies 1, Sunderland Ladies 0.

Attempt missed. Eniola Aluko (Chelsea Ladies) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Francesca Kirby.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Rachael Laws (Sunderland Ladies) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Eniola Aluko (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Francesca Kirby.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea Women16115039112838
2Man City Women16102443172632
3Reading Women1794439172231
4Arsenal Women1694330171331
5Liverpool Women179172824428
6B'ham City Women168262617926
7Bristol City Women1651101239-2716
8Everton Ladies1642101924-514
9Sunderland Ladies1641111337-2413
10Yeovil Town Ladies160214147-462
View full The FA Women's Super League table

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