Chelsea made amends for a defeat to Arsenal in their opening WSL game of the new season last weekend by thrashing an ambitious Everton side at Kingsmeadow in game two.
Everton were already reeling from a similarly heavy defeat to Manchester City a week ago and showed that they are still some distance away from being able to mount a realistic title challenge.
Chelsea dominated from the first minute to the last and were well worth a lead given to them by Fran Kirby in the first half, cutting inside from the left and finding the far corner.
The second goal was a complete gift for Sam Kerr, who intercepted a pass from Everton defender Megan Finnigan right in front of the goal. The Australian then knocked the ball into the empty net.
Kerr’s second and Chelsea’s third was a more conventional goal for the striker as he met a pinpoint cross from Guro Reiten and directed the ball into the net beyond the helpless Sandy MacIver.
Pernille Harder was desperate to score for the champions and had a number of chances, but only came as close as striking the post. Bethany England was more clinical, making it four for Chelsea almost immediately after coming off the bench.
Everton didn’t register an attempt on target until well into the second half and it was in the final minutes of the 90 that they asked the first meaningful question of Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger, who was more than up to the challenge.
Chelsea player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Ann-Katrin Berger (GK) 6/10: A total spectator for almost 70 minutes until Everton registered a tame first attempt on target, and no meaningful saves until the 87th minute.
Millie Bright (CB) 6/10: Was perhaps the weak link to target in the back three in terms of pace but was never put under enough pressure to be tested.
Jess Carter (CB) 7/10: Recalled to the England squad a few days ago and looked well worth that place at the heart of this Chelsea defence.
Magdalena Eriksson (CB) 6/10: Comfortable day at the back..
Erin Cuthbert (RM) 7/10: Skilful on the right flank and was tenacious out of possession.
Sophie Ingle (CM) 6/10: Broke up play well to stop Everton building any meaningful attacks. Guilt of a poor challenge in the second half but escaped with only a yellow card.
Ji So-yun (CM) 6/10: Offered creativity in midfield and played the pass that gave Kirby the opportunity to score the opener.
Guro Reiten (LM) 7/10: Got forward well on the left and had teased a few crosses before she set up Kerr’s second goal and Chelsea’s third.
Sam Kerr (RW) 8/10: Couldn’t have asked for an easier goal after closing down the Everton defence on the edge of the penalty area. Her second with her head was a more conventional goal.
Fran Kirby (ST) 7/10: Marked her first start of the season with a fine performance. A constant threat and put her stamp on the game with the fine opening goal.
Pernille Harder (LW) 7/10: Took up good positions on a number of occasions and was involved in plenty of neat interplay between the front three. Hit the post.
Jesse Fleming (RM) 6/10: Slotted in well with Chelsea in full control.
Bethany England (ST) 7/10: Came on and instantly got herself on the scoresheet.
Aniek Nouwen (CB) N/A
Jonna Andersson (LM) N/A
Drew Spence (CM) N/A
Everton player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Sandy MacIver (GK 5/10: Will be disappointed to have conceded another four goals, even though she stood little chance to keep them out.
Nicoline Sorensen (RWB) 5/10: Performed the wing-back role a little better than Rikke Sevecke last time out but still struggled to cope with Chelsea’s waves of attack.
Nathalie Bjorn (CB) 5/10: Things will get easier for the summer arrival in the coming weeks now that Everton have already played the two best teams in the league.
Megan Finnigan (CB) 4/10: Guilty of an awful lapse in concentration that gifted Chelsea the killer second goal and it appeared to knock her confidence.
Gabrielle George (CB) 5/10: Took some heavy hits for the cause.
Danielle Turner (LWB) 6/10: Chelsea’s more dangerous attacking came down the opposite flank.
Hanna Bennison (CM) 5/10: Looked good on her debut off the bench last week but it may take a little for the teenage Swede to adapt to the WSL.
Aurora Galli (CM) 6/10: Had impressed in midfield giving Everton a much better foothold than they had against Manchester City a week ago. Tactically sacrificed at the hour mark.
Izzy Christiansen (CM) 5/10: A mixed afternoon. Covered plenty of ground but was dispossessed and/or gave the ball away more than once.
Claire Emslie (ST) 6/10: Looked to isolate the Chelsea centre-backs with her pace but didn’t see enough of the ball in the right areas to make the most of it.
Anna Anvegard (ST) 5/10: Struggled to make the impact she would have liked.
Toni Duggan (ST) 4/10: Disappointingly anonymous off the bench when it needed a big performance to change the game for the Toffees.
Valerie Gauvin (ST) 6/10: Gave Everton more of a purpose but it was too little too late.
Kenza Dali (CM) 6/10: Had Everton’s first meaningful chance of the game in the 87th minute.
Rikke Sevecke (RWB) N/A