Chelsea Women have suffered their first defeat since April 2019 against Everton at Goodison Park last Sunday. The match started off going in Chelsea’s favour after Erin Cuthbert scored in the opening four minutes. However, two goals and a sloppy performance later, Chelsea end their 19/20 FA Cup run.
Emma Hayes left out Magdalena Eriksson who is suspected of suffering a slight knock, Pernille Harder made her first start for the Blues alongside Sam Kerr and Jess Carter started in the backline. Jess Fleming, Niamh Charles, Beth England and Melanie Leupolz found themselves on the bench. Maria Thorisdottir, who can play centre back, was also on the bench which raised many questions.
It is safe to say our performance was very underwhelming. The first touches were off and their strategy of playing long balls was proving ineffective. With a very creative midfield and our two biggest signings up front, you struggle to understand how they missed so many clear chances. Everton, however, stayed compact and played mostly by counter attacks. They stood their ground and deserved the win.
After conceding two goals courtesy of Lucy Graham (40′) and Valerie Gauvin (64′), Emma Hayes made 4/5 available substitutions, Leupolz; Beth England; Niamh Charles and Guro Reiten. Although the substitutions lifted some spirits, the finishing product in the final third was always the concern. The substitutions were way too late to be effective and they should’ve been made a few minutes after the start of the second half. This would ensure us to concentrate on scoring more rather than conceding another.
A Poor Start?
Chelsea’s performance this season has been below par. The number of new top class players coming in makes one expect this team to strengthen, but unfortunately that has not been the case yet. The only positive to take from the performance was that it was clear how vital Leupolz and Eriksson are to the team. I hope they can find their form as soon as possible, as October is gonna be a very tough month for them in terms of fixtures.