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02/05/24 | 11:19 am

Chelsea WSL title hopes derailed by stunning 4-3 loss to Liverpool

Chelsea’s bid to make it five Women’s Super League titles in a row suffered a huge setback on Wednesday as they lost a 4-3 thriller to Liverpool, seriously denting the possibility of the Blues giving manager Emma Hayes a winning send-off.

Liverpool secured their second successive home victory over Hayes’s side as the two sides scored six goals between them in a see-saw second half that will long live in the memory of those lucky to witness the classic encounter.

Hayes, who will take over as U.S. head coach at the end of the season, has seen her side lose the Continental Cup final to Arsenal, an FA Cup semi-final to Manchester United and their Champions League semi-final to Barcelona in recent weeks, and Wednesday’s defeat puts Manchester City in the driving seat.

City, who have a six-point lead over Chelsea and a goal-difference advantage, face third-placed Arsenal and Aston Villa in their final two games, while Chelsea take on already-relegated Bristol City and FA Cup finalists Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in their three remaining fixtures.

“I think the title is done. Of course, mathematically it’s not, but I think the title is done. Our job between now and the end of the season is to keep pushing until the end, but I think it will be very difficult,” Hayes said in a post-match interview.

The title-chasing Blues took an early lead through Aggie Beever-Jones and looked to be cruising, but Sophie Roman Haug equalised six minutes after the break and a Gemma Bonner header in the 66th minute put the home side in front.

Beever-Jones struck again to level for Chelsea, but Liverpool substitute Leanne Kiernan put the Reds ahead again a minute later to set up a grandstand finish.

Liverpool keeper Teagan Micah turned the ball into her own net to throw Chelsea a lifeline, but the Merseysiders battled back and took the lead once again as Bonner netted her second of the night to stun the visitors and send them home needing favours from other teams if they are to win the league.

“What a fantastic game of football, not good for my heart that’s for sure,” Liverpool manager Matt Beard beamed after the final whistle.

“When you go in front and get pegged back against a team like Chelsea, to keep going and keep scoring is great testament to the group,” he added.

(Reuters)

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Last Updated: 27th May 2024