Chelsea produced another performance that left more questions than answers after they were largely frustrated by winless Birmingham City, who were supremely well organised in defence at Damson Park this afternoon.
Birmingham made two changes from their midweek defeat to Everton in the FA Cup Semi-Final, by bringing in Georgia Brougham, Connie Scofield and Jamie Lee Napier who would play against her parent club. Chelsea revealed a squad which possibly revealed they have an eye on their next two games against Arsenal in the Continental Cup and Manchester City in the FAWSL as Sam Kerr, Ji So-Yun and Pernille Harder were all named on the bench. This did though allow Beth England to start for the first time this season.
Emma Hayes’ side were on the offence from the start, playing the ball around with great confidence. Ominously for the struggling Birmingham side, this early dominance was reflected on the scoreboard. Erin Cuthbert’s free kick on the left found Fran Kirby and the Lionesses star floated her header into the far corner after just nine minutes. That one of the smallest players on the pitch could beat her marker in the air to score would be concerning to say the least to City boss Carla Ward.
Substitutes: Green (used), Grant, Kelly (used), McCarron, Toussaint, Lawley (GK)
Chelsea: Berger, Mjelde, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson, Ingle, Leupolz, Cuthbert, England, Kirby, Reiten.
Substitutes: Telford (GK), Thorisdottir, Blundell, Carter, Ji (used), Fleming, Kerr (used), Charles (used), Harder (used).
Referee: Abigail Byrne