Women’s report: Chelsea 4 Everton 0

The Toffees are the only side to have beaten us in 2020, having eliminated us from the Women’s FA Cup at the quarter-final stage, but a stunning performance by Emma Hayes’s side saw us avenge that defeat and make history in the process.

Ji So-Yun’s brilliant early strike set the tone for the Blues and though we took our time to make our domination count, courtesy of two well-taken goals by Bethany England and a late thunderbolt by Pernille Harder, the four-goal margin of victory was the least our display deserved.

Not only did it take us to 11 WSL home wins on the bounce, which extends our best-ever run, we also set a new mark for our longest unbeaten run in the top flight since it was rebranded in 2011. Previously we’d gone 25 games without defeat between May 2017 and September 2018, winning 17 and drawing eight; this current run now moved onto 26 WSL matches, 20 of which have been victories, since last losing on 10 February 2019.

Had it not been for a combination of wasteful finishing and exceptional goalkeeping from Sandy Maciver, who continued where she left off last Sunday following an eye-catching display in the Women’s FA Cup final, we’d have been home and dry long before England’s quick-fire double midway through the second half.

Ji had put us in front after only 15 minutes with her first goal of the season, firing home on the half-volley from the edge of the box.

From that moment on we were in complete control, with Ann-Katrin Berger rarely called into action and the Blues rearguard largely keeping Everton’s attackers at bay as we ended their unbeaten start to the WSL season.

And the result was sealed by a peach of a strike from Harder, who netted with virtually the last kick of the game to put an exclamation mark on an excellent showing by the whole team from back to front.

Another victory, complete with a clean sheet, takes us onto 13 points and just behind leaders Arsenal, who we meet next Sunday in a mouthwatering clash at Meadow Park.

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