Harder inspires Chelsea win in Hayes' absence

Harder inspires Chelsea win in Hayes’ absence

Pernille Harder has contributed to five goals in her last four WSL games (3 goals, 2 assists)

Chelsea won in the absence of boss Emma Hayes as Pernille Harder marked her first club appearance of the season with two goals at Everton.

A header by Denmark midfielder Harder put Chelsea on course for a third straight Women’s Super League win.

Kadeisha Buchanan’s own goal made it 1-1 before Harder scored a penalty and Niamh Charles sealed the points.

The penalty was awarded after Everton keeper Courtney Brosnan fouled Guro Reiten.

Lauren James and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd also hit the bar for Chelsea, who were without forward Fran Kirby.

Chelsea's players warmed-up in tops with the message 'Get Well Soon Emma' on the back of them
Chelsea’s players warmed-up for the game in tops with the message “Get Well Soon Emma”

The win lifted Chelsea to second in the table, level on points with leaders Manchester United, who defeated Brighton 4-0 earlier on Sunday.

Arsenal will move above Chelsea if they win at Reading in the late game (18:45 BST).

Everton, who had beaten Leicester and Liverpool in their previous two league games, are fifth in the table.

Chelsea deliver tonic for Hayes

Chelsea’s players warmed up in tops with the message “Get Well Soon Emma” on the back, while the travelling Blues fans chanted the manager’s name throughout the game.

Hayes watched the match from home as her assistant Denise Reddy took charge in the dugout.

Chelsea were made to work hard for the points, but Harder’s return to the side after injury was timely.

She opened the scoring against a stubborn Everton side with a downward header after meeting Reiten’s cross.

Her second came from the spot, coolly beating Brosnan after Everton had threatened to frustrate the defending champions following their equaliser.

Substitute Charles made it 3-1 with a clinical finish in the closing moments.

Chelsea’s thoughts now turn to the Champions League. They can expect another tough examination against Paris St-Germain on Thursday, but they head to France with momentum high.

Positives in defeat for Everton

Everton are much improved from last season, and there were once again positives for manager Brian Sorensen after a hard-working display by his players.

Denmark defender Katrine Veje impressed, while the the Toffees showed great spirit after falling behind in the first half.

Nikita Parris, back in 2014, remains the last player in an Everton shirt to score against Chelsea in the Women’s Super League.

But Buchanan’s own goal gave the hosts hope before Harder restored Chelsea’s lead.


Everton Women

Formation 3-4-3

  • 18Brosnan
  • 20Finnigan
  • 4Sevecke
  • 2Veje
  • 17Graham
  • 5BjörnSubstituted forGalliat 64′minutes
  • 28HolmgaardSubstituted forWheelerat 64′minutes
  • 6GeorgeSubstituted forMaierat 80′minutes
  • 11Park
  • 10BennisonSubstituted forQueiroz Costaat 80′minutes
  • 27StenevikSubstituted forChristiansenat 71′minutes


  • 7Wheeler
  • 8Christiansen
  • 12Ramsey
  • 19Queiroz Costa
  • 21Maier
  • 22Galli
  • 24Weir

Chelsea Women

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 30Berger
  • 4Bright
  • 26Buchanan
  • 16Eriksson
  • 15Périsset
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 17Fleming
  • 11ReitenSubstituted forCharlesat 77′minutes
  • 23HarderSubstituted forRytting Kanerydat 61′minutes
  • 10JamesSubstituted forIngleat 87′minutes
  • 20KerrSubstituted forEnglandat 77′minutes


  • 1Musovic
  • 3Nouwen
  • 5Ingle
  • 7Carter
  • 9England
  • 13Svitková
  • 18Mjelde
  • 19Rytting Kaneryd
  • 21Charles

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