Chelsea Women

Sam Kerr: Emma Hayes praises Chelsea star's selflessness

Ali Rampling
Kerr and England were on fine form as Chelsea dispatched of Reading
Kerr and England were on fine form as Chelsea dispatched of Reading / Tom Dulat/GettyImages

Emma Hayes has hailed Sam Kerr's selflessness after the Australia international allowed strike partner Beth England to take a stoppage-time spot-kick during Chelsea's WSL win over Reading, turning down the chance to score a hat-trick.

Kerr netted a second-half brace with a pair of characteristic poacher's finishes as Chelsea maintained their lead at the WSL summit courtesy of a thumping 5-0 win over Reading on Sunday.

The league's top scorer could have completed her hat-trick in the dying stages when the Blues were awarded a penalty after England was brought down - but was happy to let her strike partner take it and add to her tally for the day instead.

"That’s what our environment is: put the team first, put your teammates first," said Hayes at full-time. "For Sam to do that for Beth is a real testament to the class and the quality that she has as a human being."

England emphatically dispatched from 12 yards out for her second of the game, making it six goals in her last three outings in all competitions.

Having played somewhat of a peripheral role this campaign, the 2019/20 WSL Player of the Season has come into the team of late following injury to Pernille Harder - and has seized her opportunity with both hands.

England's first goal in particular was one to savour, showcasing everything that is impressive about her game in one neat, 12 second clip.

The forward won the ball back inside the Reading half courtesy of some relentless harrying, fed Guro Reiten and busted a gut to make sure she was on the end of the Norway international's delivery. Her hard work came with a finish to match, thundering home a sweetly struck volley.

"Beth was tireless in what she did for the team," Hayes added. "Second half she was superb, and I’m so pleased for her; she’s back amongst the goals, she’s performing well at a time we need everybody to do that.

"I value everything that takes place on the training pitch. Her work this half of the season has been outstanding, she had a blip with the injury, but she’s kept her head down. Beth has done a great job of playing her part, but this half of the season she’s just improving and she’s contributing on a much bigger level and I’m really proud of her approach and she’s getting the rewards for all her hard work."