Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham WSL: Player ratings as Blues ease to Stamford Bridge win

Chelsea marked Emma Hayes’ return to the dugout in emphatic fashion on Saturday as they cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win over Tottenham in the WSL in front of over 38,000 fans at Stamford Bridge.

Hayes had been absent from the touchline for six weeks after undergoing an emergency hysterectomy. His side celebrated their return to the top of the WSL table thanks to a superb first-half performance, with goals from Sam Kerr, Erin Cuthbert and Gaurav Retten as the Blues won.

Tottenham have a history of upsetting the big four in the WSL, but have tended to struggle in recent months when playing historic fixtures in major stadiums. They went behind after just 12 minutes, Kerr shrugging off Shelina Zadorski’s slide tackle and firing into the bottom corner through a sea of ​​Tottenham bodies.

Ashleigh Neville called Anne-Catherine Berger into action for the first time after taking out Eve Pariset, but her curling effort from range was comfortably kept out – and that was as good as Spurs got in the first half.

Cuthbert added a superb second for Chelsea after 26 minutes. Lauren James’s corner was headed to the Scotland international on the edge of the Spurs box, and she controlled the ball with her chest before rifling a curling half-volley into the top corner.

James was involved again as the Blues made it three before the first half was out. The forward beat Smita Alli and Neville inside out, before the latter was clipped by her as she entered the penalty area. Retain powerfully dispatched the subsequent spot kick.

Chelsea continued to dominate in the second half but the intensity dropped somewhat with the result seemingly a formality. Jess Naz created an opening for Spurs after outplaying Bright and swinging in a cross from the right, while James fired just wide for the Blues. The WSL title race is well and truly underway.

Chelsea were merciless against Tottenham / Clive Rose / Getty Images

GK: Ann Catherine Berger – 6/10 – Did well in the first half to claim a potentially testing cross, but was otherwise largely untested.

RB: Eve Perisset – 7/10 – Linked well with James, Chelsea is a constant source of creativity.

CB: Millibright – 7/10 – Played a long, straight ball to Kerr for Chelsea’s opener. Almost scored his Arnold Clarke Cup goal in the second half, cracking the bar with a half-volley.

CB: Kadeisha Buchanan – 8/10 – Swept very well and brought the ball out from the back with confidence on numerous occasions

LB: Magdalena Eriksson (51′ for Carter) – 6/10 – Rarely troubled defensively. Made one save from Korpella after an early second-half adventure, before being substituted.

CM: Sophie Ingle – 7/10 – Neat and tidy in possession, hardly ever giving the ball away – even when urged to shoot by the Stamford Bridge crowd.

CM: Erin Cuthbert – 9/10 – Doubled Chelsea’s advantage with a superb solo effort, controlling James’ corner with his chest and finding the top corner with a half-volley from the edge of the box. Absolutely everywhere as usual, playing the breakup masterfully.

CM: Jesse Fleming – 6/10 – Helped Chelsea dominate the midfield with his energy and composure on the ball.

RW: Lauren James – 7/10 – Provided the set-piece delivery for Chelsea’s second, before dancing between Alle and Neville to win a penalty for his side’s third.

ST: Sam Kerr (65 for England) – 8/10 – Opened the scoring with the first sight of goal after 12 minutes, riding on Zadorsky’s challenge and finishing coolly. Another save from Korpella with a low effort in the first half, and always looked in danger.

LW: Guru Retain – 7/10 – emphatically dispatched Chelsea’s third from the penalty spot. Always caused chaos with his wicked deliveries from the left side.

Sub: Jess Carter (51′ for Eriksen) – 6/10

SUB: Bethany England (65′ for Kerr) – 6/10

SUB: Fran Kirby (65′ for Cuthbert) – 6/10

SUB: Katerina Svitkova (77′ for Reiten) – 6/10

SUB: Aniek Nouwen (77′ for Buchanan) – 6/10

Bizet in action for Spurs/Clive Rose/Getty Images

GK: Tinja Rikka Korpela – 5/10 – Got a hand on Cuthbert’s volley but couldn’t keep it out. The distribution was a bit suspect at times.

RB: Amy Turner – 5/10 – One of the three players guilty of challenging for the opening corner and then leaving Cuthbert with acres of space for Chelsea’s second.

CB: Shelina Zadorsky – 5/10 – Couldn’t stop Kerr from exploding on goal as he tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the forward for Chelsea’s opener. Given a difficult time by the Chelsea forward in the first half.

CB: Molly Bartrip – 5/10 – There is enough space for Kerr between Bartrap and Zadorski to emerge in Chelsea’s first half, who both struggled in the first half.

LB: Smita Alli – 5/10 – All were beaten in the build up to a penalty by James for Chelsea’s third.

CM: Anghard James – 6/10 – A second-half effort went wide. Decent in possession without ever being able to take the game by the scruff of the neck against Chelsea’s formidable midfield trio.

CM: Eveliina Summanen – 6/10 – The corner was one of three players to contest the first leg and left Cuthbert unmarked for Chelsea’s second leg. In the first half, Spurs continued to dominate possession by putting together a couple of well-worked moves.

RW: Celin Bizet (69′ for Ayane) – 5/10 – Unable to get the better of either Erickson or Carter, and failing to make any discernible impact on proceedings.

AM: Drew Spence – 6/10 – His first return to Chelsea since leaving the club in the summer. One of three players to try to win an early header from a corner before Chelsea’s second. Looked wide of the goal in the first half when he had a little more time than he realized.

LW: Ashleigh Nevile (83′ for Ubogagu) – 5/10 – Tottenham’s first attempt of the game, dispossessing Perisset but firing directly at Berger from range. Conceded a penalty for Chelsea’s third with a clumsy trip after being beaten by James.

ST: Jessica Naz – 5/10 – There was one of Tottenham’s brightest moments, with Carter gliding past Bright before glancing at his low delivery. Otherwise, the service is starved to a large extent.

SUB: Rosella Ayane (69′ for Bizet) – 5/10

SUB: Chioma Ubogagu (83′ for Neville) – 5/10

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