It was yet another brutal afternoon for the Everton Women as the Merseyside outfit fell 4–0 to defending league champions Chelsea in London. The stat lines may paint a dreary picture, but the schedule-makers did the Toffees no favors after opening against Manchester City last weekend. Playing two of the league's top teams to begin the season is a tall task for any squad.
Chelsea challenged early, but Everton goalkeeper Sandy MacIver made an outstretched save in the 9’ to deny Sam Kerr and keep the score level. Everton managed to withstand pressure through the first portion of the fixture despite a consistent onslaught from the home side.
Chelsea found a way through in the 25’, however, courtesy of Fran Kirby. The electric winger’s goal was the only one of the frame for Chelsea, though, as Everton kept within striking distance through the first half. The Toffees started the second looking like a team ready to even the score, with Danielle Turner and Anna Anvegard linking up on the left flank to put pressure on the home side.
Everton’s promising start lasted just a couple of minutes; Kerr netted her first of two on the day in the 47’ to double Chelsea’s advantage. Toffees center-back Gabby George, who suffered multiple heavy challenges, cleared the ball off the line in the 56’ to prevent the hosts from going up three, but the 24-year-old and her defensive partners were helpless to stop Chelsea’s final two goals, which came in the 74th from Kerr, and then the 79th by Beth England.
The Blues get a respite from the league’s dynamos in their next two matches, facing Birmingham City and Reading on September 25 and October 3, respectively.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Ann-Katrin Berger, Magdalena Eriksson, Jess Carter, Millie Bright (Aniek Nouwen 86), Guro Reiten (Jonna Andersson 86), Ji So-yun (Drew Spence 86), Sophie Ingle, Erin Cuthbert, Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr (Beth England 77), Fran Kirby (Jess Fleming 77)
Unused Substitutes: Zecira Musovic, Melanie Leupolz, Niamh Charles, Jorja Fox
Goals: Fran Kirby 25, Sam Kerr, 47, 74, Beth England 79
Bookings: Sophie Ingle 75
Everton (5-3-2): Sandy MacIver, Danielle Turner, Gabby George, Megan Finnigan, Nathalie Björn, Nicoline Sørensen (Rikke Sevecke 80), Aurora Galli (Toni Duggan 58), Izzy Christiansen, Hanna Bennison (Kenza Dali 80), Claire Emslie (Valerie Gauvin 71), Anna Anvegård
Unused Substitutes: Courtney Brosnan, Poppy Pattinson, Grace Clinton