Football: Kerr at the double as Chelsea rout United, Arsenal go top of WSL

Reuters

Posted at Sep 27 2021 08:56 AM

Chelsea's Sam Kerr celebrates scoring their third goal with Fran Kirby. Lee Smith, Action Images via Reuters.
Chelsea's Sam Kerr celebrates scoring their third goal with Fran Kirby. Lee Smith, Action Images via Reuters.

LEIGH, England - Forward Sam Kerr netted a brace and Fran Kirby scored her 50th Women's Super League (WSL) goal as champions Chelsea swept aside a sorry Manchester United 6-1 on Sunday and Arsenal thrashed Manchester City 5-0 to go top of the league.

Goals from Vivianne Miedema, Katie McCabe, Leah Williamson and a Kim Little brace put the Gunners top with a maximum nine points from three games, ahead of Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference.

Chelsea got the day off to a flying start when Kerr made the most of some shoddy defending from United in the second minute to play in Kirby who tapped in from close range. 

Pernille Harder doubled their advantage with a fine solo run and dink in the 24th minute.

The visitors piled more misery on United four minutes before the interval as Kerr and Kirby reversed roles for the Australian international to stab home a third.

United improved after the break and pulled one back through substitute Alessia Russo in the 48th minute but Chelsea restored their three-goal lead almost immediately when Kerr drove home a cross from the right. 

Replays, however, suggested the 28-year-old may have been lucky not to be flagged for offside.

Substitutes Drew Pence and Jessie Fleming grabbed a goal each before fulltime, leaving both sides on six points from their opening three games.

In Sunday's later kickoffs, Tottenham's Jessica Naz got the only goal of the game in the 85th minute to secure a 1-0 win over Reading that briefly lifted Spurs to the top of the standings before Arsenal's demolition of City.

Emily Gielnik scored just after halftime as Aston Villa beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 and West Ham thrashed newcomers Leicester City 4-0.

On Saturday, Everton got their first win of the campaign by beating Birmingham City 3-1. 

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru and Philip O'Connor in Stockholm; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Clare Fallon and Toby Davis)