Kerr’s goal gives Chelsea victory in WSL

Sam Kerr scored her seventh Barclays FA Women’s Super League goal of the season as Chelsea continued their unbeaten run with a 1-0 win over Brighton at the People’s Pension Stadium.

Hope Powell’s hosts battled hard in Crawley but it was not enough to prevent the Blues from racking up their sixth victory of the campaign and keeping the pressure on Manchester United at the summit of the table.

Brighton came into the game with just one win in their last five games, while Chelsea were unbeaten in the league and beat Benfica 5-0 in the Champions League in midweek.

The first real action came 21 minutes in when the visitors took the lead through Kerr, who headed home Pernille Harder’s pinpoint cross to put Emma Hayes’ side in front.

The only other chance in the first half came when Harder’s long-range effort was fired straight at Brighton goalkeeper Cecilie Fiskerstrand.

The Seagulls made a bright start to the second half and just 56 seconds in, Inessa Kaagman’s shot hit the cross bar.

Chelsea could have doubled their lead seven minutes later when Erin Cuthbert’s shot from the right brought a good save from Fiskerstrand in the Brighton goal.

Despite having few chances of note, the hosts piled on the pressure and substitute Emily Simpkins’ effort from distance on 80 minutes went just wide of the goal.

Brighton failed to equalise, however, and Chelsea went home with all three points to keep the pressure on Casey Stoney’s Manchester United at the summit of the FA WSL table.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said: “They have been a bogey team for us a bit last year. I’m as delighted with this win as I am any win because to break her teams down, they put in such a shift.

“I thought we deserved to win the game but when you don’t take a second goal you have to defend properly.

“If you want to compete for titles you have to win games like these and that’s something that’s clear from the off. I’m so over the moon for them.

“Towards the end I thought we were still in control. Yes, at 1-0 anything can happen in the game and you have to defend those situations properly and the back four did their job. They dealt with their clearances well.

“It was tough conditions here today and I’m really, really happy with the three points.”

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Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Ann-Katrin Berger; Maren Mjelde, Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson, Jonna Andersson; Melanie Leupolz, Ji So-yun; Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder, Erin Cuthbert; Sam Kerr