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Chelsea penalty and astounding save hold Manchester United’s rapid counter-attacks at bay

  • Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0

An all-time record Women’s Super League attendance outside of a main club stadium, another win to maintain Chelsea’s unbeaten start at the top of the table and yet plenty also for manager Emma Hayes to think about. 

A narrow 1-0 win was achieved courtesy only of both a controversial second-half penalty and a breathtaking – if slightly fortuitous – save by goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger. And so while the final scoreline was a reasonable reflection of Chelsea’s general control of possession, it rather masked their vulnerability against Manchester United’s quick counter-attacks.

The result lifted Chelsea back a point above Manchester City but, with United clearly now a growing force under manager Casey Stoney, the strength of the challenge just beneath Hayes’ team is striking.

So too was a capacity 4,790 attendance at the Kingsmeadow Stadium which more than justified the decision to not play at Stamford Bridge for the second time this season. Yes, Chelsea may have sold more tickets but Kingsmeadow, with its stand of vocal home fans, has become a real home in recent seasons and the atmosphere was excellent.

A further buzz has been created by the signing this week of Sam Kerr, the Australian Ballon d’Or nominated striker who chose Chelsea above just about all of the leading women’s clubs in the world and will arrive next month. 

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