Monday, May 9, 2022

Hayes left drained after Chelsea clinched their third consecutive title

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Chelsea manager Emma Hayes felt “mentally drained” after her “amazing” team fought back to clinch their third consecutive Women’s Super League title.

The Blues came twice from behind to beat Manchester United 4-2 and stave off a challenge from second-placed Arsenal.

Goals from Erin Cuthbert and Guro Reit, either side of two stunning Sam Kerr volleys, did the damage in a packed Kingsmeadow.

“In the first half I thought we played with fear; In the second half we played to win and I have to thank the whole dressing room for changing that mentality because we knew we had something to lose,” Hayes told her club’s website

“Once we played like we had something to win, that was the difference.

“We’re down 2-1 at home, packed house, everyone’s like ‘oh no you can’t lose the title at home’ and then we do the second half, we’re just amazing.”

Chelsea are looking to complete the double against Manchester City in next Sunday’s FA Cup final.

“I’m mentally drained right now,” Hayes added. “I’ll just go home, have a cup of tea as usual and get ready for tomorrow.”

Arsenal knew if they beat Chelsea’s result they could clinch the title on the final day.

It seemed within reach as their rivals fell behind the Red Devils twice, first after a Martha Thomas header and again when Ella Toone volleyed home after Cuthbert’s brief equalizer.

But the blues roared back in the second third. Kerr equalized and later gave her breathing room with another fine punch after riding’s completion from close range.

Goalscorer Cuthbert said: “I feel like it’s the best (title win) yet. The league is getting tighter, more competitive, we won on the last day.

“Probably everyone was watching and thinking we were down, but never write this team off.

“We have a top mentality, a top manager – what a day for the football club.”

Jonas Eidevall’s Gunners did everything they could to secure a 2-0 win at West Ham thanks to second-half goals from Stina Blackstenius and Vivianne Miedema, but it proved to be in vain.

Miedema’s future with the Gunners is uncertain as the Dutch star is out of contract this summer.

The Hammers confirmed after the game that Paul Konchesky was replacing Olli Harder as manager, who had informed the club of his desire to “pursue new opportunities”.

Former West Ham defender Konchesky, who has worked as Harder’s assistant for the past 12 months, has agreed a two-year deal.

Manchester City secured third place in the Champions League with a 4-0 win over Reading.

They knew at kick-off that a loss and a win by local rivals Manchester United would see them drop to third place, but City were comfortable at half-time after goals from Lauren Hemp and Khadija Shaw.

An 85th-minute goal from Ellen White and an injury-time penalty from Alex Greenwood secured the result and City go into the cup final in fine form.

Tottenham consolidated fifth place with a 1-0 win over Leicester thanks to Ashleigh Neville’s goal early in the second half, while Brighton and Everton drew 1-1.

Nathalie Bjorn’s injury-time penalty put the Toffees ahead at half-time but it lasted just seven minutes after the restart when Aileen Whelan equalized for Albion.

Relegated Birmingham ended the season with a 1-0 win over rivals Aston Villa.

Greek striker Veatriki Sarri scored the only goal in the 10th minute.

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