Chelsea boss Emma Hayes says her side are the best they’ve ever been after a thumping 6-1 away victory at Manchester United today in the Women’s Super League.
Sam Kerr scored twice, while Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder, Drew Spence and Jessie Fleming also found the back of the net as the Blues ran riot in Manchester.
Alessia Russo had pulled one back for the home side after half-time to make the score 3-1, but this proved to be little more than a consolation goal, with United succumbing to a first defeat of the season.
Hayes’ side were in need of a victory, having lost to Arsenal on the opening weekend and this win ensured their title challenge is well and truly back on track.
The Blues are defending WSL champions and reached the final of the Women’s Champions League last year –– yet Hayes believes her squad are even stronger this campaign.
Speaking after the United game, the Chelsea head coach told BBC: “I think we’re a better team than we’ve ever been. I think we’re miles better than last year.
Despite the win, Hayes is adamant her team can play even better and stressed the need for improvement in certain areas.
“I didn’t think we were very good,” she admitted. “ I thought we were poor in the first half by our standards and we were 3-0 up, so I expect another level.”
Nonetheless, the Chelsea boss was keen to heap praise on some members of her side, particularly Pernille Harder. The Danish forward faced criticism at times last season after arriving from Wolfsburg for a record fee but scored a fine solo goal today.
“That goal from Pernille, ooooh,” Hayes exclaimed. “Pernille this pre-season has been unbelievable. I’m so proud of her for that goal. Last game against Everton I don’t know how she didn’t score, she did everything. But Pernille is a top top player.”
Chelsea did receive some good fortune when Kerr’s second strike looked to be offside on replays. Hayes has previously urged the FA to stop treating women’s footballers like they were “second class citizens” –– pushing for the implementation of VAR and today she did so again.
“Listen, we’ve got to keep putting the investment into our officials and support the FA to develop them for the next level and hopefully technology will follow that.”News Now - Sport News