Chelsea have secured an historic third consecutive Women’s Super League title after a dramatic showdown on the final day of the season pipped Arsenal to the glory.
A thrilling six-goal fiesta against Manchester United saw the Blues run out 4-2 winners thanks to a stunning brace from Sam Kerr and goals from Erin Cuthbert and Guro Reiten.
But the afternoon wasn’t without its twists and turns — the top spot changed hands multiple times in what was truly a spellbinding 90 minutes of football.
Despite Arsenal’s 2-0 win over West Ham, it wasn’t enough to see them over the line. They finish one point behind Chelsea but will qualify for another season of Champions League football.
The two London sides have been nipping at each other’s heels throughout the season and the drama went all the way down to the wire. The Blues went into the last game of the season knowing the slightest slip up could have cost them everything.
Indeed, it looked as though a changing of the guard was in order after Chelsea found themselves trailing to Man United at half-time.
They were dealt an early blow after Martha Thomas fired United into the lead after just 13 minutes. Cuthbert netted an equaliser for the reigning champions five minutes later, but it was quickly cancelled out by Ella Toone, who seemed to have granted Arsenal a huge lifeline with her goal.
Chelsea were behind at the break, and despite a disappointing first half of wasted opportunities against West Ham, the Gunners had one hand on the trophy.
Arsenal just needed Man United to hold their lead and the silverware would have been heading to North London.
A second half comeback
Emma Hayes’ half-time talk must have been one of her best yet, as it certainly resonated with her players.
It took just one minute after the restart for the Blues to get a goal back. Kerr thundered her shot into the back of the net to even the scoreline once again, before Reiten gave Chelsea the lead for the first time in the match.
WHO ELSE?! What a STRIKE Sam Kerr!! 🤩☄️— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) May 8, 2022
Chelsea are level again! 😰 pic.twitter.com/uJgRBTGQ2E
Arsenal celebrated as they netted two goals through Stina Blackstenius and Steph Catley, unaware, on the other side of London, that their rivals had also shifted into another gear.
Chelsea had well and truly grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck and looked comfortably in control. To put the result beyond doubt, Kerr completed her brace with another superb strike to fire her team to success.
WOW!! SAM KERR TAKE A BOW!! 😍— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) May 8, 2022
What a GOAL!!! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/4pGUGhPGnd
Thanks to another prolific season in front of goal, the Australian has once again scooped the Golden Boot award. Kerr finishes her second consecutive season as WSL Top Scorer with 20 goals, ahead of Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema on 14.
A season to remember
Chelsea’s third consecutive title win is a new record in the Women’s Super League but it was far from an easy ride for the impressive Blues.
The two London rivals met in their first match of the season and Arsenal handed the reigning champions a shock defeat.
A 3-2 win in the Gunners’ favour looked sure to shape the tide of the 2021/22 season, but the overall outcome was never set in stone.
Chelsea dropped points to the likes of Reading and Brighton, leaving the title race wide open right until the last whistle of the campaign. But despite the setbacks, Hayes’ resilient Blues came out on top to continue their domination of English football.
The celebrations at Kingsmeadow were a bittersweet affair, serving as the perfect send off for Ji So-yun, Drew Spence, and Jonna Andersson, who will all leave the club this summer.
Focus for Chelsea now shifts to the FA Cup final next Sunday, where they will look to defend their title against Manchester City.