Tottenham Hotspur 2-3 Chelsea: Emma Hayes criticises Blues despite topping WSL

Emma Hayes called her Chelsea team “sloppy” despite returning to the top of the Women’s Super League by beating Tottenham 3-2.

Chelsea lead Manchester United by two points after they were held at home by Everton.

However Hayes felt Chelsea were below their best and she was relieved they were able to “grind” out a win.

“It was just sloppy. I thought it was sloppy from us defensively,” she told BBC Two after the game.

“Both goals we could’ve prevented as a result of us switching off. We can control those things and we as a team have to be mindful of that.

“This is a tough league and to everybody who thinks it’s going to be near-perfect performances, it’s not. It’s going to be a grind to the end and I’m happy to have three points.”

Jess Carter headed the Blues in front after seven minutes, however they were pegged back when Bethany England scored against her former club.

Lauren James cut inside and fired in off the post to restore Chelsea’s advantage, before Guro Reiten secured the win.

However Nikola Karczewska’s late strike ensured a nervy finish for Chelsea, which annoyed Hayes.

Chelsea are unbeaten in 19 matches in all competitions, having not lost since a 3-2 defeat by Liverpool in their opening game of this season.

They condemned Spurs to a sixth straight defeat in the league, while Chelsea have now won all seven of their WSL matches against their London rivals.

Chelsea back on top – but Hayes dissatisfied

Having dropped points for only the second time in this WSL campaign last time out at Arsenal, Chelsea started well and deservedly took an early lead at Brisbane Road.

A well-worked move from a corner saw Erin Cuthbert cross in from the edge of the box and an unmarked Carter headed home the opener.

It was a case of deja vu for Spurs, who have been in rotten league form and had scored just twice while conceding 15 in six previous top-flight games against Chelsea.

Their losing run in the WSL is their worst in the competition and they had failed to score in their past three matches.

Carter’s goal was the fifth they have conceded in the opening 15 minutes of WSL games this season – more than any other side.

England scores but Spurs woes continue

To remedy their scoring woes, Spurs boss Rehanne Skinner signed England from Chelsea for a reported £250,000 – a record between two WSL clubs – and the Euro 2022 winner showed her value on 16 minutes.

The equaliser came against the run of play with Tottenham’s first move forward of note. Ashleigh Neville slid the ball to Drew Spence who beat her marker before slotting in England, who tapped home before declining to celebrate against her old team.

Signing England has given Spurs much more of an attacking threat. However, they remain vulnerable in defence, as James proved.

On 27 minutes, she ran unchallenged from the wing into the centre of the pitch and restored Chelsea’s lead with a fine individual goal from the edge of the box, which owed plenty to Spurs failing to put James under pressure

Chelsea were then able to keep Spurs at arms length before bagging a third on the hour, Sam Kerr flicking a long ball into the path of Reiten who slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Karczewska gave Spurs hope with two minutes to play with a fine low finish, but Chelsea held on to move top.

Hayes said: “I thought it was a scrappy game. The pitch made the conditions like that. I thought in the first half we didn’t create enough depth to have the control we wanted, I felt we played ourselves into trouble.

“It’s one of those games that you know across the course of the season you’ve got to grind out a result. The important thing was the three points. Was it perfect? No. But it is about three points and we did enough for that to happen.”


Tottenham Women

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Korpela
  • 4TurnerSubstituted forKarczewskaat 78′minutes
  • 5Bartrip
  • 3Zadorsky
  • 29Neville
  • 25Summanen
  • 24Spence
  • 6Harrop
  • 14IldhusøySubstituted forJamesat 86′minutes
  • 19England
  • 20IwabuchiSubstituted forAyaneat 86′minutes


  • 9Karczewska
  • 13Ale
  • 15James
  • 18Ubogagu
  • 22Spencer
  • 23Ayane

Chelsea Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Musovic
  • 21CharlesSubstituted forPérissetat 60′minutes
  • 26BuchananBooked at 28mins
  • 4Bright
  • 7Carter
  • 22CuthbertBooked at 45minsSubstituted forCankovicat 74′minutes
  • 5Ingle
  • 10James
  • 17FlemingSubstituted forKirbyat 61′minutes
  • 11ReitenSubstituted forRytting Kanerydat 80′minutes
  • 20KerrSubstituted forLeupolzat 74′minutes


  • 8Leupolz
  • 14Kirby
  • 15Périsset
  • 18Mjelde
  • 19Rytting Kaneryd
  • 27Abdullina
  • 28Cankovic
  • 30Berger

Abigail Byrne

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur Women 2, Chelsea Women 3.

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