Emma Hayes reacts to Chelsea topping WSL despite not yet hitting their best form

Chelsea beat Tottenham 3-2 on Sunday
Chelsea beat Tottenham 3-2 on Sunday / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Emma Hayes conceded that Chelsea are not yet playing their best football despite topping the WSL, but emphasised that getting three points even when not firing on all cylinders is what it takes to win league titles.

The Blues were really made to work for their victory over Tottenham on Sunday, conceding two sloppy goals and surviving a late Spurs fight back as they ran out 3-2 winners.

Manchester United's 0-0 draw with Everton in the day's earlier kickoff meant that Chelsea leapfrogged Marc Skinner's side at the WSL summit.

"What's happy? It's three points," said Hayes. "I understand what it takes to win leagues. And I'm telling you, it's not easy to win a game of football - ask Man Utd that today.

"To win a league you've got to win games like today where it's not entirely pretty, it doesn't actually have everything go your way. Are there sloppy moments? Yes. Can you eradicate them? Yeah, they're within our control. I think our concentration and focus at times left a lot to be desired but I've pushed the life out of them in training this week - I can see some of that out there in the way we tired.

"I didn't know their [Manchester United's] result, Erin [Cuthbert] told me it after the game so I wasn't even aware of that. It shouldn't surprise anyone, nor should it surprise you if Tottenham get a result today. I've been saying it all year; this is what we want for our league. It's the best thing for the league that these games are really tight."

Jess Carter, Lauren James and Guro Reiten were on the scoresheet for the WSL champions, with James' goal a particularly spectacular solo effort.

The Blues were twice pinned back by Spurs, former Chelsea striker Bethany England equalising in the first half, and Nikola Karczewska setting up a tense finale after halving the deficit with two minutes of normal time remaining.

But Hayes's side saw out the victory, meaning they have been near flawless in the WSL since their surprise opening day defeat to Liverpool, winning 10 and drawing once.

"One thing I will tell you about our dressing room, we always talk about this; you're never too good to lose, you're never too good to concede - clean sheets are f****** hard to come by, like really, really hard to come by," Hayes added.

"And yes there's sloppy moments. As I said to the team in the huddle: I'd rather be in our position. I'd rather be top of the league and going into a Conti Cup semi final than not. And while we are not entirely at 'our best', what is 'our best'? What does that look like? It's about where we are at the end of the year that counts.

"I'm happy with three points even though nothing was at its best. I think sometimes you expect the team to look perfection in its entirety all of the time. We're human, we have our weaknesses, we have our vulnerabilities, we have our strength, but what we f****** do have is so much resilience - we have it in abundance. To keep finding something."