Kerr strike earns Chelsea Women win over Servette

Sam Kerr’s second-half strike earned Chelsea a 1-0 win over Servette in Group A of the Women’s Champions League.

Kerr’s well-taken 67th-minute goal, after being set up by fellow strike partner Fran Kirby, saw Emma Hayes’s side go three points clear at the top of the standings with just two matches left.

The hosts’ cause was helped when Servette defender Amandine Soulard was sent off with eight minutes to go after picking up a second booking of the night.

How Chelsea stayed top of the group

If those Chelsea supporters arriving at the Kingsmeadow Stadium were expecting an easy night after watching their side thrash Servette 7-0 in the reverse fixture last week, then they were mistaken after a resolute display from the Swiss.

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Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes has praised striker Sam Kerr for proving the doubters wrong and becoming one of the world’s best.

The hosts did dominate proceedings from the start, but without really testing Ines Pereira in the visitors’ goal. When they did get in behind their defence, Kerr’s shooting radar was initially malfunctioning.

Chelsea did think they had gone ahead 11 minutes before half-time, only for Monica Soraia Amaral Mendes to be in the right place to clear Millie Bright’s header off the line as the home team went in frustrated at the interval.

However, after a few words from Emma Hayes at the break, Chelsea stepped things up in the second period, playing quicker and more like they did in Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing of Manchester City.

Bright again went close with a header, before the WSL champions finally made the breakthrough after a well-worked goal involving Kirby, who slipped Kerr in on goal and from a tight angle the Australia international found the net with a powerful strike.

There was still time for the Swiss to be reduced to ten men when Soulard, already on a yellow, picked up a second caution for a late tackle on Niamh Charles, before Hayes opted to hand big summer signing Lauren James her debut in front of brother Reece, watching in the stands.

What’s next?

Chelsea host Birmingham in the WSL on Sunday, with the game kicking off at 2pm.

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