Kerr scores hat-trick as WSL leaders Chelsea destroy Birmingham

A first-half hat-trick from Sam Kerr helped Chelsea ride out a comfortable 6-0 victory over Birmingham City at Kingsmeadow.

Fran Kirby chipped in with two goals and an assist for the Blues, in a team performance which sees the side consolidate their position at the summit of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

Following a high intensity and physical start to the game, Chelsea began to gain a foothold after the first 15 minutes but struggled to break down a resilient Birmingham defence.

The hosts were finally rewarded for their hard work when Kerr followed in a shot from distance, meeting the ball first to slot it beyond the helpless Hannah Hampton in goal.

Chelsea struck again in first-half injury time, with Pernille Harder’s header striking the crossbar after a deft cross from Jonna Andersson. However, Kerr was on hand for her second to double the Blues’ lead.

It got even better for Kerr before the break when she completed her hat-trick with an imposing header following an excellent free kick delivery from Erin Cuthbert.

The second half began much like the first ended, and a prolonged period of Chelsea dominance saw the home side finally get their fourth through Kirby, who met Beth England’s pass to drive the ball into the far bottom corner.

It was five for Chelsea after Guro Reiten found herself in space in the box to meet Kirby’s pass, with the substitute rounding off a terrific team goal from the hosts with a neat driven finish.

A scintillating run by Kirby, accompanied by a curved finish to the far post saw her net second in the dying moments of the game and round-up a dominant display from Emma Hayes’ side.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said: “I think it was a performance that the whole squad contributed to, and when you play so many games like we do, everybody has to be at the same level.

“This is the first game this season I thought that, no matter who I put in, there’s not going to be a drop in standards anywhere. For that reason, it was a complete performance.”

“For us to win the title we have to win every game, and that is always a challenge considering our schedule. I’m full of admiration for the players to make sure the levels never drop.

“I’m so pleased to be part of a team that delivers again and again.

“[Sam’s] the ultimate team player, she’ll doing anything for the team do well, she’ll sacrifice herself if necessary. She doesn’t care as long as there’s harmony, spirit, a push together.”

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