Aussies Abroad: Kerr off the mark as Chelsea blow WSL title race open

Sam Kerr scored her first Women’s Super League goal as Chelsea destroyed league leaders Arsenal 4-1 on their own turf.

The Westfield Matildas captain peeled off her marker Louise Quinn and headed in Guro Reiten’s hanging cross on 13 minutes to double the Blues’ lead as Emma Hayes’ side ignited their title bid at Meadow Park.

The Gunners had won 11 out of 12 going into Sunday’s match - their only points dropped in a close 2-1 loss to Chelsea back in October – but this time they were ripped to shreds by Kerr’s rampant Blues.

Bethany England and Sophie Ingle netted either side of Kerr – England's a thunderbolt from distance – as the visitors shot out to a 3-0 lead inside 20 minutes in north London.

It became a rout when Norway forward Reiten struck on 68 minutes, before Beth Mead hit a 74th-minute consolation goal for former Westfield W-League coach Joe Montemurro’s side.

Such was the magnitude of the loss, Arsenal dropped off to top of the table on goal difference as Manchester City rose to top spot. Third-placed Chelsea now sit a point back from the leading pair.

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“Chelsea fans, buzzing to get my first goal for the club. Unbelievable experience in my first London derby,” Kerr said on Chelsea FC's social media.

“Thank you so much to the travelling fans, you guys are amazing. Com'on Chelsea!”, she added.

Kerr opened her goalscoring account in England while making her second WSL start, and fourth appearance in total, since her sealing a stunning move to Europe in November 2019.

The 26-year-old has now netted in three different national leagues, having won Golden Boot in her last four seasons – two in the United States’ National Women’s Soccer League for Chicago Red Stars and two in the Westfield W-League with her hometown club Perth Glory.

Kerr's fellow Aussie, Jacynta Galabadaarachchi, started in West Ham’s 2-1 win against Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Hammers fell behind to Danique Kerkdijk’s goal at Rush Green Stadiumm but a late double from Swiss striker Alisha Lehmann clinched the comeback win to stay eighth in the WSL ladder.

Hayley Raso’s new club, Everton, recorded a 3-1 win against Reading to climb to fifth place, with Chloe Kelly netting a hat-trick.

The former Portland Thorns and Brisbane Roar attacker, Raso, joins up with the Toffees after the Olympic Games qualifying international window in mid-February.

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