Chelsea 3-1 Manchester City: Player Ratings as Defending Champions Rout Challengers

Fran Kirby, Ji So-Yun
Kirby and Ji tore Manchester City to shreds | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Two of the WSL's top dogs squared off at King's Meadow on Sunday evening, as defending champions Chelsea brushed aside the challenge of Manchester City to keep the heat on Arsenal and Everton and the top of the WSL.

The home side struck first in strange circumstances, when a penalty was given for handball by Ellen White, despite replays showing the ball deflecting off Demi Stokes and past the England striker. White received a booking for her troubles, and Maren Mjelde - making her 50th WSL appearance - converted the resulting spot-kick.

Sam Kerr doubled the lead in the second half after some fine build-up play from So-Yun Ji and Fran Kirby, and although Emma Hayes' team were made to sweat by Chloe Kelly's emphatic penalty, the game was put to bed with ten minutes remaining when Kirby waltzed round Ellie Roebuck for number three.

It was a statement performance from Chelsea and one to forget for City, but enough of that - let's get into some player ratings!

Chelsea Player Ratings

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Sam Kerr, Millie Bright
It was all smiles for Millie Bright at full-time | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Ann-Katrin Berger (GK) - 6/10 - You know what you're getting from Berger. Was switched on and commanding when she had to be, though stood no chance from Kelly's spot-kick.

Maren Mjelde (RB) - 7/10 - Kept a menacing City left flank quiet and did the business with no fuss when required from the spot.

Millie Bright (CB)- 6/10 - Didn't exactly cover herself in glory when she conceded a penalty in the second half but otherwise as steady as ever.

Magdalena Eriksson (CB) - 7/10 - Dealt with what little pressure City put her under with ease and looked as commanding and dominant as ever.

Jonna Andersson (LB) - 7/10 - Did an excellent job against Jessica Park and Lucy Bronze, and looks very much like she could be the final piece of Chelsea's midfield jigsaw.

2. Midfielders

Maren Mjelde
Erin Cuthbert celebrates with Mjelde | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Fran Kirby (RM) - 7/10 - Wasn't involved as much as she'd like to be in the first half but more than made up for it in the second. Rampaged down the right to create Chelsea's second goal and rounded Ellie Roebuck if she wasn't there to put the game to bed.

Melanie Leupolz (CM) - 6/10 - The lynchpin of Chelsea's midfield, it's usually the sign of a functional performance when she goes by unnoticed. She broke the play up and moved the ball on well without grabbing any of the headlines for herself.

So Yun-Ji (CM) - 8/10 - Really seemed to work for her as the creator in the Blues' midfield two. Created plenty of space for herself and might have pre-assist of the season locked down with her defence splitting pass for Kirby.

Erin Cuthbert (LM) - 6/10 - So difficult to mark as she occupied some clever positions coming in from the left in Chelsea's panoramic 4-4-2. Was given plenty of creative license and took advantage with a typically energetic performance.

3. Forwards

Lucy Bronze, Sam Kerr
Kerr led the line well | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Sam Kerr (CF) - 7/10 - The quieter of Chelsea's two strikers, really should have equalised with a free header early in the second half but made up for it when she stroked in the second goal.

Pernille Harder (CF) - 7/10 - Continued a promising start to life in England with a lively performance alongside Kerr, but spurned one or two really good chances. Looked to lack a bit of confidence and sharpness but didn't hide for a moment.

4. Substitutes

Beth England - 6/10

Niamh Charles - 6/10

Sophie Ingle - N/A

Manchester City Player Ratings

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Lucy Bronze, Ji So-Yun, Erin Cuthbert
Lucy Bronze struggled to get going | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Ellie Roebuck (GK) - 5/10 - Reasonably quiet despite Chelsea's dominance of proceedings, no chance with the second goal but a pretty horrible error of judgement for the decisive third.

Lucy Bronze (RB) - 5/10 - Lost the battle vs Cuthbert, off-key defensively but looked sharp on the ball whenever it came to her.

Steph Houghton (CB) - 6/10 - The City captain was a constant voice throughout and held her own against a fearsome front two, though might have done better with the second.

Gemma Bonner (CB) - 5/10
- Strong in the air but really struggled up against Harder. No disgrace in that, however, as she certainly won't be the last.

Demi Stokes (LB) - 6/10 - Might have received a booking herself, had the referee not decided the ball struck Ellen White instead. Had a rough time of it against the buzzing Harder but by no means a bad showing.

6. Midfielders

Caroline Weir, Ji So-Yun
Caroline Weir in one of many battles with Ji | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Sam Mewis (CM) - 7/10 - Such an important player for City, again central in driving her team forward and might have changed the game when she rattled the post in the first half.

Keira Walsh (CM) - 5/10 - Really went missing at times and had her hands full against Ji who dragged her all over the pitch with her unceasing movement.

Caroline Weir (CM) - 6/10 - Held things together in the middle and tried to make things happen in the inside left channel, but to little avail. Didn't always look sure of her role, or which Chelsea midfielder she was supposed to be tracking

7. Forwards

Chloe Kelly
Kelly was clinical from the spot | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Jessica Park (RW) - 5/10 - Most of what City did went down her flank but she couldn't really force anything for her side.

Ellen White (CF) - 5/10 - So unlucky to concede a penalty and resulting booking, but was quiet and isolated otherwise in a meek City performance. Was the first to be sacrificed and City looked better after she went off.

Chloe Kelly (LW) - 6/10 - Easily the best of City's front three, constantly trying to have a go at Bright and Mjelde but proved that's easier said than done. Scored with one of the best penalties ever seen in the history of football.

8. Substitutes

Rose Lavelle - 6/10

Georgia Stanway - 7/10

Jill Scott - N/A