Defending champions Chelsea got their first points on board in the Women’s Super League following a victory over rivals Manchester City, whose poor start continues.
Fran Kirby’s first-half goal got the hosts off to a flyer before Maren Mjelde’s penalty 12 minutes before time sealed the win.
City were dominant in the first half but found themselves behind three minutes before half-time when Kirby took advantage of some sloppy defending in front of England boss Sarina Wiegman, who was watching from the stands.
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The goal changed the complexion of the game and Chelsea only grew in confidence thereafter, with Lauren James testing City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.
Chances were coming thick and fast for Chelsea as Kirby missed the target from a decent opening before the referee pointed to the spot when Leila Ouahabi handled inside the box and Mjelde made no mistake.
Chelsea boss Hayes said her side were “lucky” in the first half after they struggled against City’s pressing.
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“We overplayed and kept playing ourselves into trouble. We were playing out from the back in every situation and gave City the best chances,” she said.
“We were a bit tentative. Today was like the season opener – it looked like two teams that haven’t got any momentum and sometimes that takes time. We were dominating by the second half, comfortable after a poor first half.
“There are still transitions happening with us too but maybe the collective leadership in my group is further ahead than City.”
The win moves Chelsea up to fifth in the early league table, while City remain pointless and are third from bottom.
The international break means Chelsea aren’t back in action until October 16 when they play at Everton, while City host Leicester on the same day.
Elsewhere, Everton beat Liverpool 3-0, Aston Villa downed Leicester City 2-0, Manchester United beat West by the same scoreline and Brighton and Hove Albion beat Reading 2-1.
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