England scores twice as Chelsea thrash Everton in WSL

Beth England scored twice as Chelsea cruised to a 4-0 Barclays FA Women’s Super League victory against rivals Everton to climb into the top three.

England scored two in three second-half minutes after Ji so-Yun’s spectacular volley broke the deadlock early on.

Pernille Harder added a fourth goal in the seventh minute of injury time in a result that sees Chelsea move above Everton on goal difference.

Ji so-Yun opened the scoring on 15 minutes. Sandy MacIver’s clearance was charged down by England and the ball bounced to Ji, who smashed a volley into the bottom left corner from just outside the area.

Izzy Christiansen had a good chance to equalise after a cross found her unmarked eight yards out but she could not connect well enough to test goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger.

Chelsea almost extended their lead just before half time when England ran in behind Everton’s defence but MacIver closed down the striker and pushed her wide enough to shoot into the side netting.

Everton came close to levelling the score when Hayley Raso’s point blank volley was cleared off the line by Maren Mjelde with 20 minutes remaining.

England doubled Chelsea’s lead on 73 minutes after Melanie Leupolz poked the ball to the striker, who struck a low, left footed shot into the bottom right corner.

Two minutes later, England scored again after she followed up a long-range Erin Cuthbert shot that MacIver pushed on to the cross bar. England reacted quickest and headed in the rebound from a yard out.

The striker almost completed a five-minute hat-trick when she headed just wide from close range.

Everton pushed for a consolation and hit the post with minutes left when Damaris Egurrola’s header cannoned off the woodwork following an inch-perfect cross from Ingrid Moe Wold.

Harder added a fourth for Chelsea with the final kick of the game, hitting a left-footed shot over the outstretched MacIver into the top right corner.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said: “We dominated for 30 minutes and didn’t get the second goal in the game; they rode their luck and didn’t take their chances. I think we are trying to find our stride.

“Our back five have been immense for this team over a long period of time; our full-backs work obsessively to improve all the little details to do all the work without complaint. They deserve special mention for their quiet leadership.

“I think they had a rest mid-week, they didn’t play a game and they were nice and fresh. Our players had to play mid-week, we need to build a squad that competes and accept that you never win the same game twice.

“I think as the PFA player of the year, the bar was already high for Beth. I’m happy for her today, but my job is to win games of football not to make players happy. Beth needs to know this is the start of another good run for her.”

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