Women’s Super League
Tottenham Hotspur F.C
Sam Kerr (41, 52)
Sam Kerr double puts Chelsea in touching distance of WSL title with Spurs win
- Credit: PA
Chelsea moved a step closer to winning the Women's Super League title with a 2-0 away win at London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday evening at the Hive.
The win for the Blues makes it seven wins in eight WSL games but they were made to work for it against a stubborn Spurs side.
Tottenham started quite well and had the first opening of the fixture when Cho So-hyun played a fantastic pass behind the Chelsea defence for Rianna Dean but she lacked power on her shot as it sailed into Ann-Katrin Berger's arms.
Chelsea had their first sight of goal in the game inside five minutes when Guro Reiten crossed for Bethany England but the ball was just a little bit heavy and the sliding striker couldn't turn the ball into the net.
Rebecca Spencer then made a fine save a minute later as Spurs failed to deal with another cross and Drew Spence got a header in on goal but the keeper matched it with a low save.
Chelsea started as expected very much on top with a spring in their step after reaching the UEFA Women’s Champions League final beating Bayern Munich on Sunday.
Emma Hayes' side were knocking on the door with Sophie Ingle inches away from breaking the deadlock when Sam Kerr pulled a low ball across the box for the Welsh International who had her effort superbly saved by the Spurs stopper.
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From the resulting corner Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson got her head to he ball but it was comfortably saved by the busy Spencer in goal for Spurs.
Erin Cuthbert was causing Spurs quite a few problems with her running out wide and she got a cross away on 17 minutes but Spencer was alert and equal to it punching the ball away from the danger area.
Niamh Charles who's been so impressive for Chelsea this season then put in a good cross searching for Kerr and England but Spencer who was having a brilliant game did well to turn the ball behind for a corner.
The Spurs keeper was facing an onslaught as England tried her luck but once again the keeper was equal to it to make the save down low.
Rehanne Skinner's side did have a rare sight of goal on 22 minutes as they broke out and Lucy Quinn was picked out with a beautiful ball over the top but her shot from a tight angle was saved by Berger down low.
Chelsea kept knocking on the door but Spurs were holding a good defensive shape frustrating Emma Hayes' side.
31 minutes had passed and once again Chelsea were attempting to exploit Tottenham in the wide areas when Charles got to the byline and crossed aiming for Cuthbert but Abbie McManus sniffed the danger out to take the ball away from the Scottish International.
It was wave after wave of Chelsea attack with Reiten having a shot in on goal but Shelina Zadorsky did well to make the block on the edge of the area.
Spence was next to try her luck on goal as she was found on the edge of the box before drilling her powerful low shot goal-wards but once again the Canadian Zadorsky was on hand to block the effort.
The deadlock was broken on 41 minutes with Kerr opening the scoring for Chelsea when Millie Bright put a ball over the top for Reiten who crossed low into the box aiming for England who was sliding in but she couldn't quite reach it however Kerr was on hand at the back-post to finish from a tight angle.
That was Kerr's 19th goal of the season putting her ahead outright in the Golden Boot race ahead of Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema.
On the stroke of the interval Chelsea had another opening as Kerr got onto a ball into the box from Cuthbert before heading across goal and wide but the offside flag was raised anyway.
Hayes' made one change at the break switching it up for the Champions League finalists bringing off Charles replacing her with Jess Carter.
It was so close to the perfect start of the second half for the visitors when England crossed for Jonna Andersson who cracked her effort off the crossbar and Kerr could only direct her header into the hands of Spencer in the Spurs goal.
Chelsea did double their lead on 52 minutes via Kerr who hit her 20th of the campaign as she met a cross from Reiten before the Australian's header was well saved by Spencer before she turned in the rebound from point blank range.
Spurs didn't allow their heads to drop as they went back on the attack and tried to seek a way back into the game as Rachel Williams was played in before fizzing her effort in on goal that Berger did well to get down to save.
Spurs then made a double change on 61 minutes bringing on Jessica Naz and Kit Graham taking off Angela Addison and Cho So-hyun.
Hayes then shuffled the pack herself looking ahead to the final day of the season against Reading on Sunday and the Champions League final as Pernille Harder, Melanie Leupolz and Jessie Fleming replaced Kerr, Spence and Reiten.
With twenty minutes to go England had a good opportunity to score her goal as she got onto a long ball but she was crowded out by the Tottenham Hotspur defence and they cleared the danger.
On 74 minutes Williams was replaced by Kerys Harrop for Spurs and Eriksson who returned from a calf injury for Chelsea came off for Hannah Blundell to see out the game.
Chelsea were seeing the game out in a professional fashion and they looked tired from the weekend's game against Bayern Munich on 85 minutes they had a chance from a corner but Spencer was on hand to claim the ball ahead of Harder.
Spencer was then called in action once more as Cuthbert cut inside before fizzing in a low drive on goal however Spencer was once again equal to it as she made the save.
The first yellow card of the match arrived in stoppage time as McManus dragged down Ingle in a sign of pure frustration.
Spurs had the final chance of the match as Rianna Dean fired in an effort just wide of the right-hand post from just inside the area.
Tottenham Hotspur: Spencer, Morgan, McManus, Zadorsky, Worm, Cho (Graham 61), Addison (Naz 61), Peplow, Quinn, Williams (Harrop 74),Dean.
Unused substitutions: Green, Davison, Neville.
Chelsea: Berger, Andersson, Eriksson (Blundell 76),Bright, Charles (Carter 46), Cuthbert, Spence (Fleming 66),Ingle, Reiten (Leupolz 66), Kerr (Harder 66),England.