Chelsea 3-1 West Ham: Blues come from behind to avoid more WSL disappointment

Chelsea initially went behind against West Ham in the WSL
Chelsea initially went behind against West Ham in the WSL / Alex Burstow/GettyImages

Chelsea had to come from behind against West Ham to avoid more WSL disappointment this season, extending their long unbeaten record at Kingsmeadow to 27 games in the process.

The reigning champions were stunned by Liverpool on the de facto opening weekend of the new campaign earlier this month, before getting into their stride this past weekend against a Manchester City in a major transition period.

But it threatened to be another night to forget on Wednesday when Dagny Brynjarsdottir head West Ham into the lead inside three minutes. The ease at which the unmarked Icelandic star met the ball and guided it into the net will have been a major worry for Emma Hayes.

Chelsea did bounce back pretty quickly to create plenty of chances. When Sam Kerr hit both posts in the first half it looked like it could have been one of those nights. West Ham were also defending resiliently and new England call-up Lucy Parker was impressive.

It was Chelsea’s persistence than their superior quality that got them back into it, while there was an element of controversy about the go-ahead goal.

Fran Kirby netted the goal that levelled things up shortly before half-time. West Ham failed to properly clear the danger, with the ball recycled by Guro Reiten from out wide. Kirby then managed to dig it out from under her feet into the far corner.

West Ham again failed to properly clear when Sam Kerr put Chelsea ahead. Reiten was again involved in keeping things alive, with Magdalena Eriksson closing down the attempted clearance, although replays showed Kerr was in an offside position as the ball fell to her for a tap-in.

With Chelsea ahead, their only looked like one winner and Millie Bright showed herself a command presence to head the Blues further into the lead. However, they missed the chance to extend their lead more when Lauren James was denied from the penalty spot by a smart save from Mackenzie Arnold, who feinted to dive one way before flying across her line in the opposite direction.

The victory puts Chelsea fourth in the WSL table level on points with Arsenal, Manchester United and Aston Villa, but having played a game more.

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