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Everton Women 1–3 Chelsea: FA WSL Recap | Blues fall to defending champions

Hard work and spirit prove to be in vain at Walton Hall Park

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Match Recap

A Kadeisha Buchanan own goal proved to only be consolation as Everton suffered defeat to champions Chelsea.

Pernille Harder fired the visitors in front in the 38th minute only for the Blues drew level, but parity was to be short-lived as Harder converted her second from the spot after Courtney Brosnan was adjudged to have fouled Guro Reiten.

And with the Toffees chasing the game, Niamh Charles sealed victory for Emma Hayes’ side with a composed effort, deep into injury time.

The defeat leaves the Blues in the fifth, but Brian Sorensen will be encouraged by his team’s spirit and hard work.

Everton started with confidence at a sold-out Walton Hall Park, Lucy Graham shooting wide before having another effort blocked in the box after being found by Hannah Bennison.

Chelsea also had efforts in what was an open game, Harder forced Brosnan into a routine save, while Sam Kerr shot wide. The champions began to take control of the game, although Everton remained resolute and competitive.

Brosnan was called into action on 34 minutes, the ‘keeper saving well from Magdalena Eriksson’s header.

But the Blues’ stopper was powerless three minutes later after Harder made no mistake when found in the box by Reiten’s centre.

Everton didn’t lie down, Gabby George and Rikki Sevecke both seeing efforts blocked as the hosts searched for a response before half-time.

Bennison was the next to see the Chelsea defenders block an effort. The Swede was found by Elise Stenevik’s cross, but the visitors’ rear guard was in heroic mood as they protected the lead.

Sorensen’s side’s persistence was to be rewarded on 53 minutes. George was able to get her effort on target after being found by the head of Megan Finnigan. Ann-Katrin Berger made the save only to see the ball collide with Buchanan and land in the Chelsea net.

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton’s joy proved to be short-lived and this time it was Brosnan in the spotlight after committing the foul in the area. And the Republic of Ireland international was powerless to stop Harder’s subsequent spot-kick.

Bennison looked to provide another instant response, but the midfielder’s long-range effort went wide.

Clare Wheeler, Aurora Galli and Izzy Christiansen were introduced as Sorensen chased an equaliser, but it was Chelsea who went closest. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd’s effort rattled the crossbar.

Everton remained competitive but deep into injury time Charles made the game safe with a clinical finish that condemned their hosts to a second league defeat of the season.

Sorensen will be keen on a positive response though, and his team will have the perfect chance to find one with a trip to Aston Villa on Saturday, 22 October.