Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Reiten and Eriksson put the Blues on the brink of the WSL title

Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Guro Reiten and Magdalena Eriksson strikes put Emma Hayes’ side on the brink of claiming a fourth consecutive WSL title

  • Guro Reiten and departing captain Magdalena Eriksson scored in the first half
  • Katie McCabe fired a penalty wide for Arsenal as they attempted to fight back
  • Chelsea will be crowned champions if Man United fail to win against Man City 

Champions in waiting. Chelsea have one hand on the Women’s Super League trophy after a 2-0 victory over Arsenal at Kingsmeadow.

What has been arguably the most exciting title race in the league’s history could come to an end this evening if Manchester United fail to beat Manchester City. It is surely a matter of when, not if, Emma Hayes’ side will get to celebrate a fourth consecutive league title. Even if they are made to wait a further six days, it feels inevitable Chelsea will beat bottom-of-the-table Reading next weekend.

It was fitting that departing captain Magdalena Eriksson scored the decisive goal in her final Kingsmeadow outing, making it 2-0 just before half-time after Guro Reiten had opened the scoring. Earlier this week Eriksson and Pernille Harder, her partner and team-mate, announced they would be leaving the club this summer and they were given the perfect send off.

Eriksson has been with Chelsea since 2017 and has lifted their last three WSL trophies and it feels inevitable she will raise a fourth aloft in the Blues’ final game of the season at Reading next weekend.

Arsenal will also be watching the Manchester derby with interest, with the Gunners’ three points ahead of City in third. A United defeat would see the battle for Champions League football go to the wire. This was Arsenal’s first league defeat against Chelsea in three games and it seemed as if their injury crisis had finally caught up with them. Their defending for both goals was shoddy to say the least – a case of tired bodies and minds after what has been a testing campaign.

Chelsea moved to the brink of claiming the WSL title after earning a 2-0 win against Arsenal

Guro Reiten opened the scoring to put Chelsea on the brink of a fourth straight WSL title

Guro Reiten opened the scoring to put Chelsea on the brink of a fourth straight WSL title

Captain Magdalena Eriksson scored the second on her final appearance at Kingsmeadow

Captain Magdalena Eriksson scored the second on her final appearance at Kingsmeadow

The first big chance of the game went Arsenal’s way as Stina Blackstenius forced Ann-Katrin Berger into a fine save at her near post. But it was Chelsea who found the net mid-way through the first half.

Eve Perisset’s delivery went all the way to the back-post, where a completely unmarked Reiten slid in to finish past Manuela Zinsberger.

Berger had to be alert again shortly after to keep out a fierce effort from Frida Maanum.

But it was Chelsea who were doing all the attacking and a crucial second goal came just before half-time.

Reiten floated a free-kick into the box and Kerr evaded Lotte Wubben-Moy to head across goal and Eriksson beat Zinsberger to the ball to tap-in for 2-0.

Harder was twice denied a send-off goal at the start of the second half, with Zinsberger keeping out her fierce effort at the near-post before Katie McCabe cleared her header off the line.

A route back into the game presented itself for Arsenal when Sophie Ingle blocked McCabe’s shot with her hand, leaving referee Abigail Byrne no choice but to point to the penalty spot. McCabe, who saw a penalty saved by Leicester goalkeeper Janina Leitzig earlier this month, this time fired her effort wide. That miss perhaps summed up Arsenal’s season. Close, but not close enough.