LONDON: Chelsea Ladies completed a remarkable double on Sunday after clinching their first ever FA Women’s Super League 1 title to add to their FA Women’s Cup writes CJHRISTIAN RADNEDGE.
Emma Hayes’s side began the day two points ahead of their only challengers, Manchester City Women, knowing that a win at home against Sunderland would be enough to lift the trophy.
Chelsea were determined to avoid a repeat of the final day of the 2014 season where they again began the day top, but surrendered the title to Liverpool after losing to City 2-1.
Any hopes of a dramatic climax at Wheatsheaf Park were dampened when South Korean forward Ji So-yun opened the scoring for the home side after just seven minutes.
A brace from Chelsea’s mid-season signing Fran Kirby made sure of the win in the second half, while Gemma Davison made absolutely sure of the result with three minutes remaining.
Isobel Christiansen scored her sixth goal of the season as City beat Notts County 2-1, missing out on the title but securing their highest ever WSL finish of second and with it European football for the first time.
Elsewhere, relegated Bristol Academy clawed back some pride after beating 2014 champions Liverpool 4-2. The match was Liverpool manager Matt Beard’s last in charge of the Reds, as he moves to the Boston Breakers in the US.
A solitary goal from Natalia Pablos gave Arsenal a 1-0 win over Birmingham to see them finish the season in third place.
Meanwhile, The FA will spend the next few months reviewing the past season due to some criticism over the timing of the campaign.
The league began in April but it has taken until October to play 14 league fixtures, although that does include the break for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada where England finished third.
Next season sees the WSL1 expand to nine teams with Reading and Doncaster Belles being promoted from WSL2. The FA plans to expand the division to ten teams in 2017.
Reading are managed by Kelly Chambers and therefore will join Hayes as the only female head coaches in WSL1.