Second-placed Chelsea visited Seventh-placed Aston Villa in some early morning action in the WSL. Chelsea surprisingly rested a number of key players, likely with one eye on the upcoming game with Servette in the Champion’s League. But this meant that the Blues were without Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby, Melanie Leupolz, and Guro Reiten in the starting line-up against their mid-table opposition. Aston Villa weren’t able to capitalise on Chelsea seemingly taking their foot off the accelerator as Emma Hayes’ side came away with a 1-0 win.
Chelsea Rest Stars in Aston Villa Win
Chelsea were dominant throughout the game with Ji So-Yun acting as their main playmaker in the middle of the park. They were clearly far from their best, however, as they were lacking that critical edge that players like Kerr and Kirby possess as they wasted a number of opportunities. Aston Villa were not able to take advantage of this as they were offering very little offensively. After Jessie Fleming put Chelsea ahead, it seemed to be a case of when, not if, the London club would add to their lead.
Aston Villa Show Signs of Life
A second goal never came for Chelsea. Instead, Aston Villa grew into the game as time wore on. Even when Chelsea brought on some of their top players, they were on the defensive for the final stretch of the game. It proved to be too little, too late for Villa as they were up against the clock despite finally getting momentum on their side. Chelsea did cling on to their one-goal lead and came away with the three points in a game that ended up being tougher than many would have expected going in. Emma Hayes will no doubt be happy with her team’s defensive effort following some shaky defending in recent Champions League ties.
With this win, Emma Hayes and her team remain in the fight for WSL glory as they stay within three points of Arsenal. As we know, the top sides in the WSL don’t tend to drop many points so every game is a must-win for Chelsea if they want to have any hope of winning their third league title in a row.
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