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Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City: Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby goals sink Foxes

Chelsea celebrate
Chelsea have scored in each of their past 56 WSL fixtures

Late goals from Chelsea’s Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby denied Leicester City a first point in the Women’s Super League at Kingsmeadow.

Substitute Harder stabbed home a Jessie Fleming cut-back to finally break the visitors’ resistance after 82 minutes.

And Fran Kirby slotted home in stoppage time as Chelsea moved into second, behind Arsenal on goal difference.

Promoted Leicester had looked set to be the first WSL team to keep a clean sheet against Chelsea in three years.

Sam Kerr had seen an effort cleared off the line while Foxes keeper Kirstie Levell made a series of superb saves.

Defeat means Leicester become the first WSL side to lose their first five games of the season since Yeovil lost their opening six in 2018.

Champions Chelsea last failed to score in a league game in a 0-0 draw with Birmingham in October 2018, but for 82 minutes Leicester looked set to keep them out.

Niamh Charles went close with an early header while Fleming forced a fine save from Levell with a powerful effort from long range.

Harder, who was brought on at the break, forced another good stop from Levell in the 62nd minute moments after Jessica Sigsworth had cleared a Magdalena Eriksson effort off the line.

Denmark forward Harder broke the deadlock with eight minutes remaining before Kirby sealed the win on the counter-attack.

Chelsea players and staff had joined arms before the game in solidarity with players in the US who have made sexual misconduct allegations against English coach Paul Riley.

National Women’s Soccer League team North Carolina Courage sacked Riley following the allegations, which he denies.

Line-ups

Chelsea Women

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Musovic
  • 4Bright
  • 3Nouwen
  • 16ErikssonSubstituted forCuthbertat 73′minutes
  • 17Fleming
  • 5IngleSubstituted forJiat 65′minutes
  • 24SpenceSubstituted forHarderat 45′minutes
  • 25AnderssonSubstituted forReitenat 65′minutes
  • 14Kirby
  • 9EnglandSubstituted forKerrat 45′minutes
  • 21Charles

Substitutes

  • 7Carter
  • 8Leupolz
  • 10Ji
  • 11Reiten
  • 20Kerr
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 23Harder
  • 29Fox
  • 30Berger

Leicester City Women

Formation 4-4-2

  • 28Levell
  • 6Brougham
  • 5McManus
  • 22Plumptre
  • 23PurfieldBooked at 31mins
  • 27O’BrienSubstituted forde Graafat 70′minutes
  • 3Tierney
  • 8Pike
  • 21Cain
  • 7FlintSubstituted forBailey-Gayleat 70′minutes
  • 9SigsworthSubstituted forHowardat 89′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Lambourne
  • 14de Graaf
  • 15Howard
  • 17Bailey-Gayle
  • 20Zajmi
  • 37Brown
  • 40Robinson
  • 48Harris

Referee:
Lisa Benn

Attendance:
2,716

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