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Match Report

Chelsea rise to the top as they beat Aston Villa in comfortable 3-0 victory

Goalkeeper Sophia Poor made her WSL debut as Aston Villa went down to 10 early on

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Chelsea FC Women

19 April 2024

Aggie Beever-Jones, Maika Hamano and Kadeisha Buchanan scored Chelsea’s goals as they beat Aston Villa 3-0 on Wednesday evening at Kingsmeadow and moved back to the top of the Women’s Super League.

Villa’s goalkeeper Anna Leat was sent off in the 4th minute after handling outside the penalty area meaning the visitors had to play for 86+ minutes with 10 players.  17-year-old Sophia Poor come on for her senior debut in her place in goal.

Leat seemed to misjudge where she was on the pitch as she saved Sjoeke Nusken’s shot outside the 18-yard box four minutes into the match with the ball rolling just wide of the post. 

Referee Melissa Burgin showed her a straight red card meaning what was already a difficult task away at the champions had become a bit harder. The resulting free kick from Catarina Macario was deflected over. 

The visitors first opportunity came in the 12th minute when Jordan Nobbs was allowed to run forward but shot over.

Hamano just couldn’t get her foot on a low cross in front of goal at the other end a minute later.

Aston Villa held out until the 18th minute when the Blues took the lead.  Niamh Charles crossed in from the left and Beever-Jones volleyed the ball past Poor and into the net.

Fran Kirby went close to adding a second for Chelsea but her flicked header from a corner went just the wrong side of the post.

Another dangerous cross from Charles was cleared behind by the Villa defence for a corner.  Nusken put an effort narrowly wide following a corner in the 31st minute as the hosts got on top. 

In the 38th minute, the home side made it 2-0 when Macario flicked the ball on and Hamano finished from close-range to score her first goal for the club. 

The Blues had the final chances before the break with Hamano sending an effort wide in the first of four additional minutes at the end of the first half.  Deeper in stoppage time, Nusken flicked the ball forward and Macario got to it before the Villa goalkeeper but put the chance wide.

Five minutes into the second half, Beever-Jones kept on running through Villa’s defence before putting the opportunity just wide.  Hamano closed down Poor and saw the ball just roll across goal as the hosts went close to scoring a third.

After some ball tricks from Macario in the area, Kirby fired wide.  Buchanan then had an effort blocked before the visitors cleared. 

Buchanan scored her first goal for the Blues when she headed in Macario’s corner to make it 3-0 in the 64th minute.

Hamano headed over after coming in at the far post to meet a cross in the 72nd minute for the hosts.

Poor made a great save to stop a Kirby header from close-range in the 79th minute.  Then a minute later, the Villa goalkeeper made another good save to stop a Reiten shot.  Poor made these stops despite struggling with an injury/cramp during the second half.

In a rare Villa attack, Chelsea were a bit exposed but Kirsty Hanson dragged her shot wide in the 84th minute.  A long ball over the top in the final minute almost caught Chelsea out again but Hanson’s shot was saved by Hannah Hampton this time.  

The Scottish international had another opportunity for the Villans early in the nine minutes of addition time but half-volleyed this one over.

Mayra Ramirez cut in from the right but shot straight at the goalkeeper, then Ashley Lawrence sent an effort over as the home side had the final chances of the match.

The win sees Chelsea go top of the WSL, level on points with Manchester City but ahead on goal difference with four games left to play for both.  Villa remain in seventh position in the league after the defeat.

When speaking after the match, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said it is a “challenge playing against 10 but her side did everything I asked of them”.  She was full of praise for Hamano and her “super performance” and Macario’s deliveries from corners.

Aston Villa’s manager Carla Ward remarked that she was proud of her side for the way they played for 86 minutes against the champions with a player less.  She praised substitute goalkeeper Poor saying she was “excellent”.



Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Hampton, Lawrence, Carter (Cuthbert 69’), Buchanan, Charles (c) (Reiten 56’), Nusken, Ingle, Beever-Jones (Rytting Kaneryd 82’), Kirby, Hamano, Macario (Ramirez 69’)

Unused substitutes: Musovic, Leupolz

Goals – Beever-Jones 18’, Hamano 38’, Buchanan 64’

Booked – Ingle, Lawrence


Aston Villa (3-4-1-2): Leat, Patten, Corsie (c), Maritz, Mayling (Lehmann 81’), Nobbs, Taylor, Daly, Dali (Hanson 69’), Magill (Mullett 82’), Salmon (Poor 5’)

Unused substitutes: Gregory, Leon

Booked – Corsie, Daly

Sent off – Leat 4’


Referee – Melissa Burgin

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