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Bristol City 0
at Watford F.C.>
Women's Soccer Scene
Six-hit Chelsea maintain grip on Cup
 Women's Football FA WSL news - 17 Mar 2021
 
Chelsea 6 (Kerr 2,9,48, Kirby 28,34, Reiten 54)
Bristol City 0
at Watford F.C.

Chelsea kept hold of the FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup as they proved too strong for Bristol City with a powerful display at Vicarage Road.
 
Chelsea strikers Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby were in rampant form with Kerr hitting a hat-trick and Kirby being involved in all six goals during her time on the pitch, scoring twice and creating the other four. However, the gloss of Chelsea's victory was slightly taken off as they lost influential midfielder Maren Mjelde with what looked to be a serious injury.
 
In a nightmare start for the Robins, they found themselves a goal down inside the opening 90 seconds, Fran Kirby chasing down a ball over the top and squaring for Sam Kerr to roll the ball home from close range.
 
Guro Reiten headed just wide from a corner but the second goal was not too long in coming, Kerr combining with Kirby before beating Sophie Baggaley with a left foot strike from ten yards.
 
Kirby shot just wide following a cut back from Kerr but the England striker was to capitalise fully on a mistake just before the half hour. After Baggaley's kick went straight to her, Kirby returned the ball with interest, clipping the ball over the backpedalling keeper to make it three.
 
The Chelsea strike duo were far too hot for the City defence to handle and six minutes later it was four, Kirby again the tormentor as she took the ball into the area before beating Gemma Evans and although Baggaley got a foot to her resulting shot, she could not prevent the ball from going on into the net.
 
Baggaley made a good save to deny Kirby a third moments later after she had exchanged passes with Jessie Fleming. City did get their first meaningful shot in during first half injury time, Ella Mastrantonio firing over after the ball was laid back to her by Yana Daniels.
 
Both teams made substitutions at the break and City did have the first effort on goal, Ebony Salmon's strike flying straight at Ann-Katrin Berger but Chelsea went straight on the counter attack with Kirby outpacing the defence and sliding across for Kerr to complete her hat-trick.
 
Faye Bryson made a great saving challenge to deny Kerr a fourth after yet more good work by Kirby but another sweeping Chelsea move saw Kerr and Kirby combine for Reiten to score from close range.
 
City tried to respond with Salmon making a sweeping run into the area past Millie Bright and forcing a good save from Berger, who managed to turn her shot over the bar, whilst at the other end Baggaley needed to make a good block as Kerr latched on to Kirby's precise through ball.
 
To their credit, the Robins kept pushing forward in search of a goal, Aimee Palmer heading straight at Berger who then turned another strike from the lively Salmon over the bar.
 
Sadly the game was then held up for a lengthy spell due to Mjelde suffering what looked to be a serious injury following a challenge from Palmer. The Norwegian was stretchered off and with all five substitutes used, Chelsea had to finish the game with ten players.
 
When play resumed, City went close to a consolation as Abi Harrison made her way into the area before being foiled by a superb challenge from Hannah Blundell as she looked poised to score. Back came Chelsea and Reiten broke down the left and crossed but Drew Spence could not divert the ball home at full stretch.
 
Chelsea celebrations could finally begin after seven minutes of injury time, lifting the first of a possible four trophies this season. Bristol City meanwhile can reflect on a fine Cup run - only two of their players had previously played in a major Cup Final - before turning their attention to maintaining their FA WSL status.
 
Chelsea: Ann-Katrin Berger, Jonna Andersson (sub Hannah Blundell 45mins), Magdalena Eriksson, Millie Bright, Sophie Ingle (sub Drew Spence 45mins), Melanie Leupolz (sub Erin Cuthbert 45mins), Jessie Fleming, Guro Reiten, Fran Kirby (sub Jess Carter 60mins), Maren Mjelde, Sam Kerr (sub Niamh Charles 60mins). Subs not used: Zecira Musovic, Carly Telford, Ji So-Yun, Pernille Harder.
 
Bristol City: Sophie Baggaley, Faye Bryson, Gemma Evans (sub Laura Rafferty 78mins), Carla Humphrey (sub Aimee Palmer 65mins), Ebony Salmon, Yana Daniels, Charlie Wellings, Emma Bissell (sub Abi Harrison 45mins), Jemma Purfield, Ella Mastrantonio, Kiera Skeels (sub Naomi Layzell 84mins). Subs not used: Mia Smith, Flo Allen, Maisy Collis, Ellen Jones.

 

 
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