Chelsea won with a 6-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, securing their fifth consecutive WSL title. This victory is the end of an era for Chelsea with manager Emma Hayes signing off her 12-year tenure with the club in spectacular fashion.

Chelsea Wins Fifth Consecutive WSL Title

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The match kicked off with Chelsea displaying energy which saw them net two goals within the first ten minutes.

The early goals from Sjoeke Nüsken and the unplayable Mayra Ramírez, who had opened the scoring gave Chelsea an almost four-goal advantage on goal difference over their closest rivals Manchester City.

By halftime, Chelsea had doubled their tally leading 4-0, while Manchester City, who needed a superior goal difference, could only manage a 1-0 lead against Aston Villa. Ramírez and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd’s first-half goals with Ramírez’s second and Nüsken’s strike.

The second half saw Chelsea continue their dominance. Within two minutes of the restart, Guro Reiten set up Melanie Leupolz for Chelsea’s fifth goal.

The crowning moment came with the entry of Fran Kirby, Chelsea’s departing record goalscorer, who scored a sixth goal celebrating her final appearance with the club in style.

While Chelsea celebrated the end of Manchester City’s campaign contrasted sharply. Despite leading against Aston Villa, City’s 2-1 win was insufficient to overcome Chelsea’s superior goal difference.

Chelsea’s season appeared to be heading for disappointment. The team lost the Conti Cup final to Arsenal, exited the FA Cup against Manchester United in the semifinals and fell short in the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) semifinals against Barcelona.

A 4-3 defeat to Liverpool two weeks prior to the final matchday threatened their title hopes. Chelsea’s hopes were revived with an 8-0 victory over Bristol City and a concurrent 2-1 defeat for Manchester City against Arsenal, putting Chelsea back on top of the league on goal difference.

In her final pre-match press conference, a teary-eyed Hayes expressed her pride and gratitude, urging her players to play with freedom and without pressure.

Chelsea entered the final matchday level on points with Manchester City but ahead on goal difference. City needed a three-goal win over Aston Villa and for Chelsea to slip up against United.

Chelsea took control early with Mayra Ramírez scoring within the first two minutes. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd added another goal six minutes later.

Ramírez, signed in January for a world-record fee of €500,000. She scored the opening goal with a powerful header, then set up Sjoeke Nüsken for the third goal. Just before halftime, Ramírez scored again, making it 4-0.

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Melanie Leupolz capitalized on a defensive error to score the fifth goal two minutes into the second half. Fran Kirby in her final appearance for Chelsea, added a sixth goal, her 116th for the club.

Emma Hayes said, “It’s been an emotional week, probably a rollercoaster seven months. Staying on top of your own emotion is really tricky. I’m just relieved it’s over.”

Millie Bright Chelsea’s captain addressed the team’s resilience, stating, “When half the country writes you off, we always had a monster mentality. We got given a second chance but you have to take it.”

Fran Kirby, a nine-year career at Chelsea, Kirby said, “I’ve grown up, matured here. I’ve had some hard moments, but some really amazing moments.”

Hayes departs Chelsea with a record, seven WSL titles, five FA Cups, and two League Cups over 12 years. Hayes is credited with transforming Chelsea into a powerhouse. Hayes’ next challenge will be leading the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Both Chelsea and Manchester City finished the season with 55 points, but Chelsea’s superior goal difference (+53 compared to City’s +46) secured the title.

Chelsea set a new record for the most goals in a WSL season, scoring 71. Chelsea secured the second-best defense in the league behind Manchester City.

Ramírez’s transformation from struggling to sensational was pivotal. Her performance against United was her best of the season, featuring two goals and two assists.

Despite being sidelined due to an ACL injury, Kerr’s presence and support from the dugout were a testament to her leadership and team spirit.

Both players contributed in the final match with Leupolz scoring the fifth goal and Kirby adding the sixth in her last game for the club.

Chelsea’s comeback began after Arsenal’s victory against City gave Hayes’s side a lifeline. This, following Chelsea’s earlier 4-3 defeat to Liverpool had handed their title rivals the advantage.

Hayes’s tactical acumen were evident as Chelsea seized their second chance, addressed by victories such as the 1-0 defeat of Tottenham and the 8-0 demolition of Bristol City.

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Emma Hayes said, “I can’t say it’s my most enjoyable but it’s definitely been the toughest, without doubt, and for that reason probably the sweetest,”

Chelsea’s victory was made even more impressive considering the injuries they had to overcome, mostly the loss of star striker Sam Kerr to an anterior cruciate ligament injury since January.

The match was also a farewell to Fran Kirby, who scored her side’s sixth and final goal, and Emma Hayes, whose departure to manage the United States women’s team marks the end of an era.

Kirby expressed her pride and joy in contributing to such a memorable victory, stating, “The girls blew it away in the first half, they were incredible and everything they did turned into goals.”

The spirit of the Chelsea team was by captain Millie Bright, who addressed the team’s “monster mentality” and ability to overcome. “We were given a second chance. They don’t often come but you have to take them and we did,” Bright said.

The final 20 minutes of the match were a celebration for Chelsea fans who reveled in their team’s dominance at Old Trafford.

The sight of Sir Dave Brailsford and Sir Alex Ferguson watching on added to the historic occasion. A chant of “Emma, what’s the score?” was met with Hayes holding up six fingers.

The final whistle blew, confirming Chelsea’s status as WSL champions once more. Midfielder Erin Cuthbert summarized the sentiment within the squad, “There have been a few rough moments, this title has taken about 10 years off my life if I’m being deadly honest. The hardest one yet, the sweetest one yet, so I’m going to enjoy tonight.”

The atmosphere at Old Trafford was with chants of “We love you, Emma” filling the air. Hayes’ joy was evident as she celebrated each goal with enthusiasm.

Hayes’ appointment as the head coach of the USWNT marks the beginning of a new chapter in her career. Her success at Chelsea has set high expectations for her tenure with the U.S. team.

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