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Women's Super League review: Chelsea rout Reading in only surviving fixture

Mike Bovill
Authored by Mike Bovill
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2021 - 07:34

A chaotic week in the Women's Super League came to a conclusion with just one of the six weekend fixtures able to go ahead. Chelsea travelled to Reading and won 5-0 thanks to four-goal haul from Fran Kirby. 

The result moves the champions up to second, three points behind Manchester United but still with a game in hand despite being the only top-five side in action.

Arsenal and Manchester City had already asked the Football Association to postpone their respective fixturs against Aston Villa and West Ham after players contracted Covid on ill-fated festive breaks to the United Arab Emirates.

Manchester United head coach Casey Stoney also apologised for allowing some of her players to travel to Dubai as well, although there are no reported cases of coronavirus in the United squad. Instead, it was an outbreak in the Everton camp which led to their game being postponed.

Birmingham were forced to pull out of their match against Tottenham because injuries left them unable to field a fit side. Brighton were then the final club to request a postponement to their game against Bristol City when two positive tests in their squad meant a further five players had to go into isolation as close contacts. 

The Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes refused to blame the FA for the number of postponed matches, instead pointing to individual players and clubs to improve their behaviour. "The reality is [the FA] have a duty of care to players and can only do what's presented to them.

"I'm disappointed with women's football this week, we've worked so hard to get where we are and I think it's important for everybody to be mindful of that.

"For teams that need to make sure they have more players in their squads, do your job. We're a professional league, this is an elite status. If you don't want the government to take that away from us then behave properly. Every single one of us, us included."

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