Chelsea's WSL title bid on brink as Liverpool win thriller


Chelsea’s WSL title bid is hanging by a thread as Gemma Bonner’s dramatic injury-time winner gave Liverpool a thrilling 4-3 win in one of the games of the season, leaving Manchester City with all the initiative in the title race.

Having been dumped out of the other three cup competitions in the last month, Emma Hayes’ side were looking for a response to send the departing Blues manager off with a trophy, and looked on course for victory as Aggie Beever-Jones headed in a ninth-minute opener.

But Liverpool dominated the game from that point and two goals Sophie Roman Haug (51) and Erin Cuthbert’s own goal (66) – both from corners – turned the game on its head.

Then came a mad final 10 minutes as Beever-Jones smashed in an equaliser (80), but substitute Leanne Kiernan immediately gave Liverpool their lead back 60 seconds later as the Chelsea defence fell asleep.

Chelsea had to come from behind three times to secure the draw
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Chelsea had to come from behind three times and still couldn’t find the win

Catarina Macario then smashed in an equaliser on 83 minutes which looked to have given Chelsea some hope in the title race.

However on her 150th appearance for Liverpool and against her former side, Bonner headed into the far corner in the third minute of stoppage-time to settle a dramatic game, which saw Chelsea miss more chances before the full-time whistle.

The result means Chelsea are six points behind leaders City with just one game in hand and a much worse goal difference. City do, however, host Arsenal this weekend, meaning Hayes is needing a title favour from the Gunners and Jonas Eidevall, with whom she clashed in the Continental Cup final in March.

Despite the remaining fixtures, Hayes believes the title race is over, telling Sky Sports after the game: “I have amazing memories of this football club and we won a lot of things and I’d love to win titles again for Chelsea. But that’s not going to be this year I’m afraid.

“We will never give up, but the title is far from us. It’s not in our hands. City deserve it, their consistency has put them in that position. We will go to the end but I don’t think the title will be heading to us this year.”

A dramatic ending – from 2-1 to 4-3 in 13 minutes!

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Aggie Beever-Jones finds the equaliser for Chelsea against Liverpool

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Leanne Kiernan puts Liverpool back in front straight after the Chelsea equaliser!

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Teagan Micah puts the ball in her own net as Chelsea find another equaliser against Liverpool!

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Gemma Bonner heads Liverpool in front who now lead Chelsea 4-3

How Chelsea’s season fell apart even more

After their recent disappointments over the last month, Chelsea came out of the blocks firing and looking for goals. They found one after nine minutes as Beever-Jones nodded in Macario’s corner after being found completely unmarked in the six-yard box.

With goal difference key in this title fight with Man City, Chelsea rushed back to the centre circle searching for more goals and it nearly came two minutes later, as Sjoeke Nusken’s shot from inside the box was parried by Liverpool goalkeeper Teagan Micah, with captain Taylor Hinds needing to hack the loose ball off the line.

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Aggie Beever-Jones headed Chelsea ahead at Liverpool in the WSL as Emma Hayes’ side attempt to close the gap on league leaders Manchester City

Chelsea searched for more, as Macario’s shot was parried by Micah, before the Chelsea forward saw a second goal ruled out for offside.

But Liverpool rallied and grew in confidence as the half went on. Roman Haug should have levelled when Marie Hobinger’s free-kick found her in the box but she fired wide. The Reds ended the half on top, with Hinds seeing a close-range effort deflected just wide by Lawrence.

Then a bonkers second half started with Liverpool missing a chance after 20 seconds of the restart, as Hobinger air-kicked inside the box after good work from Ceri Holland.

And Liverpool eventually got their deserved equaliser as Roman Haug headed in unmarked from a corner in exactly the same manner as Beever-Jones’ goal.

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Sophie Roman Haug headed Liverpool level against Chelsea in the WSL to stun Emma Hayes’ side

Liverpool kept pushing for a winner as Hannah Hampton was forced into a brilliant save to deny the excellent Mia Enderby, who ran rings around Millie Bright on her first Chelsea start in six months after injury.

And Liverpool found a goal from another corner as Bonner headed goalwards and it took a huge deflection off the unknowing Cuthbert, to leave Hayes with her hands on her head.

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Erin Cuthbert headed in to her own net to give Liverpool the lead against Chelsea as the Blues’ title bid looks to falter

Chelsea struggled to bang on the Liverpool door until the final ten minutes of normal time, which sparked the start of four goals in 13 dramatic minutes.

Substitute Guro Reiten released Niamh Charles in the box and Micah came out of her goal for no reason. That allowed Charles to find Beever-Jones who smashed home. But Liverpool would find the lead again straight after kick-off.

Holland did superbly, turning in the Chelsea half and releasing Kiernan behind Nathalie Bjorn with a stunning pass, leaving the substitute the simple task of poking past Hampton.

But Chelsea were not done yet as Cuthbert kept the ball in on the byline before finding Macario, who squeezed the ball past several Liverpool bodies on the line and into the bottom corner.

Chelsea had two chances to win it in nine scintillating minutes of injury time. Macario headed just wide of the far post, before Micah denied Beever-Jones a hat-trick with a stunning save from the Blues striker’s volley.

Did you know?

Chelsea had conceded just two goals from corners all season before this game. They conceded three in the most important second halves of their season.

It was Bonner who popped up with the winner, guiding her header into the far corner to claim a remarkable win.

What’s next?


Sunday 5th May 6:00pm


Kick off 6:45pm


Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday May 5, kick-off 2pm, before going to Leicester on the final game on the WSL season on May 18.

Chelsea are also in action on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, against Bristol City in what is Emma Hayes’ final home game as Blues manager.

Chelsea then go to Tottenham in their next game in hand over Manchester City, before facing Manchester United away on the final day of the season on May 18.

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