Aluko strike extends Chelsea Ladies’ lead

Chelsea Ladies maintained their unbeaten start to the season as Eni Aluko’s fine strike earned a 1-1 a draw in a feisty Women’s Super League encounter away against Manchester City Ladies.

Aluko put the Blues ahead with a fabulous first-time shot after a sharp one-two with Ji So-Yun, but Toni Duggan’s calm right-foot effort brought City level.

A draw takes Chelsea’s unbeaten run to six games – nine in all competitions – and sees Emma Hayes’ side regain their two-point advantage at the top of the table going in to the break prior to the World Cup.

They led when England striker Aluko came deep and played the ball to Ji before making her way in to the box and sweeping an effort across goal from the near post.

Drew Spence then missed a wonderful chance to double the lead, shooting over the bar after brilliant work by Gemma Davison.

And City equalised when Duggan calmly shot home in to a barely guarded net after goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl came out of her goal to thwart a City attack out wide.

Chelsea seemed to have good reason to call for an offside in the build up but Duggan showed great composure to finish from 18 yards when the ball was played across the box from the right.

Both sides pressed for a winner after the interval but neither were able to fashion a noteworthy chance until City started to threaten in the closing stages.

But their only decent opportunity saw Natasha Flint’s shot superbly blocked by Lindahl after Duggan cut inside from the left.

Chelsea, who last week beat City to earn a place in the Women’s FA Cup semi-finals, have won four of their six league matches so far, conceding just two goals in the process.

The season resumes in July, with Chelsea playing Bristol Academy in their first fixture back on July 12.

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