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Soccer-Kerr strike sends Chelsea top of WSL after 1-0 win over Man United

Published 12/03/2023, 14:43
Updated 12/03/2023, 21:01
© Reuters. Soccer Football - Women's Super League - Chelsea v Manchester United - Kingsmeadow, London, Britain - March 12, 2023 Chelsea's Sam Kerr in action with Manchester United's Ona Batlle Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - Sam Kerr's superb first-half goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 home win over Manchester United that saw them climb past the Red Devils to the top of the Women's Super League after a tight, tense encounter at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.

Chelsea are now in pole position in the standings on 37 points after 14 of the season's 22 league games, two points ahead of United and with a game in hand.

Third-placed Manchester City beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 thanks to a brace from Khadija Shaw to move level on points with their city rivals, while Arsenal remain three points behind City in fourth spot after a 4-0 thrashing of Reading.

United keeper Mary Earps had to make two early saves from Kerr after Chelsea got in behind the high United backline, but the visitors' defence did not heed the warning and it was soon to be third time lucky for the Australian.

Lauren James lofted a superbly-weighted long ball in behind the defence in the 23rd minute and Kerr chested it down expertly before lifting it over Earps for a sublime finish that takes the Australian to 22 goals in all competitions this season.

Alessia Russo had a great chance to put United level 12 minutes later but her snap shot flew straight at Ann Katrin Berger, and United also had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Nikita Parris was brought down by Kadeisha Buchanan.

© Reuters. Soccer Football - Women's Super League - Chelsea v Manchester United - Kingsmeadow, London, Britain - March 12, 2023 Chelsea's Sam Kerr in action with Manchester United's Ona Batlle Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Despite their title hopes being in danger of suffering a serious blow, United lacked composure in the second half and they did little to threaten the Chelsea goal, rendering Kerr's strike enough for the Blues to secure a crucial win in the title race.

Later in the afternoon Liverpool fullback Emma Koivisto scored one goal and created another as her side came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1, while Everton were held to a scoreless draw by bottom side Leicester City and Aston Villa beat West Ham United 2-1.

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