With an emotional international break ahead of them, some of Canada’s biggest names were used sparingly in Women’s Super League play this weekend.
Ashley Lawrence and Jessie Fleming came off the bench to contribute to Chelsea’s 5-2 thrashing of Leicester City on Sunday.
England star Lauren James scored a brace to ensure they remain at the top of the WSL table ahead of the final international break of 2023.
James opened the scoring in the second minute, putting Chelsea ahead.
A self-inflicted goal by Leicester’s Courtney Nevin three minutes later doubled their lead. Despite Leicester’s attempts to close the gap, a second goal from James and a strike from Agnes Beever-Jones did the Foxes in.
Emma Hayes’ team had won their last four league games against Leicester by a combined score of 25-0. Talk about dominating your opponent.
Lawrence was introduced in the 74th minute, replacing Niamh Charles. Fleming played the final nine minutes, coming on for Sam Kerr who scored Chelsea third goal just before halftime.
Chelsea’s impressive performance on Sunday, plus a 5-0 win over Liverpool last weekend and a 4-1 victory over Paris FC in the Women’s Champions League on Thursday, show that the Blues mean business as the clock ticks away on Hayes time at Chelsea.
The quest for a fifth league title under Hayes, who is set to become head coach of the United States women’s national team this summer, will continue against Arsenal after the international break.
Related read: ‘You can’t turn USWNT down’: U.S. Soccer make Chelsea manager Emma Hayes highest-paid head coach in WoSo history
The Blues keep their three-point lead over Arsenal, their next opponents, while Leicester’s winless streak was extended to six games.
Unbeaten Chelsea top the table with 22 points, three more than Arsenal and seven more than third-placed Manchester United, who beat Bristol City 2-0 win against Bristol City. Jayde Riviere started and played all 90 minutes for the Red Devils.
Meanwhile, Beth Mead’s double helped Arsenal secure a 3-0 win over West Ham United, keeping them in second place. Arsenal’s Frida Maanum also scored in the second minute, and Mead, recently back from an ACL injury, added two more goals in the first half in the Gunners’ 3-0 win over West Ham. Arsenal’s Cloé Lacasse came on for Mead to see out the final 25 minutes of play.
Liverpool climbed to fourth place with a 4-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, but they could be overtaken by either Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur, who play each other later on Sunday.