Women’s report: Chelsea 2 Tottenham 0

It had been a long wait for the Blues between matches, as the postponement of our last scheduled fixture, against Aston Villa, meant we were last in action back on 11 October when we beat Manchester City 3-1.

An injury suffered by Fran Kirby during the international break that preceded this game meant Emma Hayes was forced into one change to her starting XI, as Niamh Charles was drafted in to replace the in-form England forward.

Ann Katrin-Berger lined up between the sticks, behind a back four of Maren Mjelde, Bright, Magda Eriksson and Jonna Andersson. Melanie Leupolz and Ji So-Yun continued their midfield partnership, with Charles, Harder and Cuthbert tasked with supporting lone striker Sam Kerr.

This is the fourth season in a row we’ve met our London rivals in the group stage of the Continental Tyres League Cup; the previous three were won by a combined score of 14-2. Both sides entered their second fixtures in this term’s competition on the back of healthy victories, Chelsea beating Spurs’ north-London neighbours Arsenal 4-1 in a repeat of last season’s final and the visitors recording a 4-0 win over London City Lionesses.

After storming out of the blocks in the aforementioned triumph over the Gunners, it was a rather more subdued start on this occasion, as Tottenham pressed aggressively early on and our passing lacked the crispness and precision one usually associates with Hayes’s team.

The visitors were almost rewarded for their bright opening when Siri Worm curled a free-kick from just outside the D against the post with Berger well beaten, and that seemed to serve as a wake-up call for the Blues as we began to impose ourselves in the attacking third. A low strike from Ji called Spencer into action for the first time, but it was a simple stop for the former Chelsea keeper.

The link-up between Kerr and Harder, which had shown positive signs in recent fixtures, was on show again here as the latter unselfishly nodded a cross into the path of our No20, only for the Spurs defence to snuff out the danger before she could get a shot away.