Goals from Fran Kirby and Maren Mjelde condemned Gareth Taylor's side to a 2-0 defeat against Chelsea in the FA Women's Super League.

It was a tale of two halves as City began brightly in London, creating numerous chances and dominating the ball, but it was Chelsea who got the opening goal against the run of play through Fran Kirby’s composed finish three minutes before the break with their first shot on target.

Our best chance of the afternoon came seconds after Kirby’s opener, as Laura Coombs latched onto Chloe Kelly‘s deflected cross to fire on target, but Ann-Katrin Berger deflected the ball onto the post expertly.


With just under 15 minutes remaining, the hosts doubled the lead and secured the three points from the penalty spot through Maren Mjelde, who struck in the spot kick expertly after Leila Ouahabi was penalised for handball.


The hosts made an electric start at Kingsmeadow and almost took the lead after just eight seconds, with Sam Kerr turning the ball just wide of Ellie Roebuck‘s right post from six yards.

City responded well and two minutes later, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw showed superb strength and balance to burst into the box, but her effort was blocked out for a corner, which was well defended by Chelsea.

The frantic start continued as the hosts had a golden chance to open the scoring after 12 minutes, after Steph Houghton‘s underhit backpass put Kerr through on goal.

The striker unselfishly squared to Kirby who directed towards goal, but Laia Aleixandri was in the right place at the right time to clear for City.

Taylor’s side quickly turned defence into attack as Shaw raced into the box and was sent tumbling under the challenge of Kadeisha Buchanan, but referee Abigail Byrne waved away the penalty claims.

We continued to show attacking intent and pressed high up the pitch, forcing Berger to kick straight to City debutant Deyna Castellanos, who took an assured touch before powering a shot just off target from the right edge of the 18-yard box.

The game settled after the half hour mark but our relentless high press forced another error in the Chelsea backline, with Mjelde losing out this time to Lauren Hemp, who sped into the box and tried to catch Berger out at the near post, but the goalkeeper got a strong hand to turn the ball around the post.

With three minutes to go until the interval, the hosts took the lead against the run of play with their first shot on target, as Kirby finished coolly from Guro Reiten’s measured cutback.

We almost hit back instantly, but Coombs’ accurate effort from eight yards after Chloe Kelly‘s cross was turned onto the post superbly by the agile Berger.

Taylor’s side emerged from the break with the same attacking intent and were unlucky not to level as Aleixandri’s intricate through ball found Coombs, but Berger held onto her strike from a difficult angle.

However, in stark contrast to the first 45 minutes, chances were at a premium for both sides in the second period, the game becoming increasingly scrappy in the battle for possession.


With just under 15 minutes remaining, Emma Hayes’ side were awarded a penalty after Leila Ouahabi was penalised for blocking a shot with her arm.

Mejlde stepped up and stuck into the top left corner beyond the sprawling Roebuck to secure the three points for Chelsea.


Gareth Taylor selected Ellie Roebuck to start in goal, shielded by a back four of Kerstin Casparij, skipper Steph Houghton, Alex Greenwood and Leila Ouahabi.

Laia Aleixandri was chosen to sit in front of the defence, giving Laura Coombs and Deyna Castellanos licence to get forward.

At the sharp end, it was the usual suspects of Lauren Hemp, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw and Chloe Kelly.

Chelsea XI: Berger, Bright, James, Reiten (Charles 86’), Kirby, Eriksson, Fleming (Ingle 65’), Mjelde (Perisset 86’), Kerr, Cuthbert, Buchanan

Subs: Musovic, Ingle, Carter, England, Svitkova, Perisset, Kaneryd, Charles, Cankovic

City XI: Roebuck, Casparij, Houghton, Greenwood, Ouahabi, Aleixandri (Losada 84’), Coombs, Castellanos, Hemp (Raso 79’), Shaw (Blackstad 84’), Kelly

Subs: MacIver, Keating, Stokes, Fowler, Angeldahl, Raso, Losada, Hutchings, Blakstad.


There is an international break now, so Taylor’s side are next in WSL action on Sunday 16 October, playing host to Leicester City.

The game is scheduled to kick-off at 14:00 BST at the Academy Stadium, and you can purchase tickets here.

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