Chelsea have been on flying form recently, securing comfortable league victories against the likes of Bristol City, Arsenal and most recently, West Ham. Their Sunday afternoon clash with their London rivals resulted in an impressive 8-0 victory to the hosts – featuring goals from Maren Mjelde, Beth England and Sophie Ingle to name a few.
Erin Cuthbert arguably secured the best goal of the game with the Scotland international dribbling past Grace Fisk to shoot from outside of the box, before 16-year-old Emily Murphy got her first WSL goal to complete the scoring for the Blues.
However, it was Chelsea’s 4-1 victory over Arsenal which turned the most heads – with the fixture expected to be a close call. Instead, the reigning champions were humiliated on home turf – and new signing Sam Kerr bagged her first WSL goal for the Blues, slotting past the Gunners in the early stages of the match.
Their recent goal fests mean Chelsea have now scored 42 times this campaign – more than any other side in the competition – taking their average to an impressive 3.85 per game. The Blues are still unbeaten in the WSL this season and despite sitting in second place behind Manchester City, the London side still have a game in hand.
But how exactly have they become one of the biggest goalscoring threats in the WSL this season?
A simple word to describe Chelsea’s success is depth. Manager Hayes has admitted she’s been spoilt for choice this campaign, especially when it comes to the attacking department. Not only have the Blues secured some successful signings in the previous window, including midfielder Jamie-Lee Napier and a truly world-class striker in Kerr, but the WSL side have also been blessed with a selection of talent who have been progressively getting better and better.
One of these women is of course, England. The striker who went on loan to Liverpool last campaign, returned to London last summer and has since been taking the division by storm at her parent club. The 25-year-old started off her 2019/2020 with a bang – netting in a superb long-range strike against rivals Spurs during the opening game of the season at Stamford Bridge. Since then, the forward has scored 12 times for her side, making her Chelsea’s current top goalscorer this campaign.
But England isn’t the only one netting in goals, with the Blues currently in possession of many skilled attacking midfielders and forwards. Ji So-Yun has managed five leagues herself this campaign, while Summer signing Guro Reiten has netted four times since joining the team. Maren Mjelde and Sophie Ingle have also got four league goals to their name – and both featured in Chelsea’s 8-0 thrashing against the Hammers. With Kerr currently out injured, the side’s ability to score eight goals with the Australian sidelined proves just how much depth they currently possess.
Chelsea also have a set of versatile players in their squad – including the talented youngster Cuthbert. Although the 21-year-old is often regarded as a forward, she can play in many positions on the field. During this campaign, Hayes has played her upfront, on the right and in some deeper midfield roles.
Having versatile players allows the Chelsea boss to test out different formations and starting XIs – with the 43-year-old eager to give game time to as many of her talented players as possible. To think that one of Chelsea’s most exciting prospects Fran Kirby is still missing from the squad, with the 26-year-old struggling with fitness issues in recent times, their success without the English international has become frightening.
Chelsea don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon – with the Blues scoring a ridiculous 18 goals in their previous three league fixtures. Although both Arsenal and Manchester City are filled with talented players, the Blues hold the upper hand when it comes to squad depth – and this is exactly why they need to claim the title this season.