Chelsea demolish Reading to clinch WSL title in style

Fran Kirby scored twice as Chelsea made sure of a second consecutive Women’s Super League title with a ruthless 5-0 victory over Reading at Kingsmeadow.

A two-point advantage over second-placed Manchester City meant a Blues win would guarantee the title – and the second part of potential quadruple – and they romped past the Royals with Kirby and Sam Kerr’s lethal strike partnership doing most of the damage.

Melanie Leupolz’s second-minute shot from Jess Carter’s corner set the Continental Cup winners on their way before Kerr teed up Kirby to find the net with superb strikes either side of the break.

The combination took their joint goalscoring tally to 52 between them this season when Kirby’s lovely lofted pass allowed Kerr to finish first time for a 4-0 lead.

And substitute Erin Cuthbert made it 5-0 when her bobbled effort crept over the line from close range.

The Royals defended well for most of the first half, despite trailing when keeper Grace Moloney made a mess of Leupolz’s early volley from a well-worked corner.

But England striker Kirby’s first sweet finish from Kerr’s inside pass just before the break seemed to break the away side’s resolve and the relentless possession and pressure exerted by Emma Hayes’ side told.

Kirby’s 16th league goal of a sensational season arrived courtesy of another Kerr assist after the break. This time the Australian ran on to a long ball and waited for support before picking out Kirby, whose instant hit was beautifully placed into the far corner.

Kerr, the WSL’s top scorer, then got her 21st goal of the season, from Kirby’s clever assist.

And Chelsea, who will look to complete the third part of the quadruple quest when they take on Barcelona in the Champions League final in Gotherburg next Sunday, sealed a stylish win when Scotland’s Cuthbert scored on the follow-up.