Chelsea manager Emma Hayes refused to be too critical of her players despite a comprehensive defeat to title rivals Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
Their opponents were dominant in the first half, with Filippa Angeldahl and Lauren Hemp putting the home side 2-0 up in the first half hour. The Blues rallied after the interval but it was too little, too late as the reigning champions suffered only their second league defeat of the season. After the game, Hayes admitted it was a difficult result to take but she was still proud of her team:
“We lost. I was proud of the second-half performance. It’s important now we get all our thoughts into Thursday. It’s a tough loss but well done Manchester City. Absolutely [we looked tired]. But I’m not going to say a negative word about my players. I love them. I know how hard they pushed in the second half. This was one game too many. It’s so hard to win a league when you’re in all competitions with a game every three days. Today’s performance reflected that.”
Chelsea have dropped to third in the Women’s Super League table following this weekend’s matches. Having gone into this round of fixtures as the leaders, they now find themselves a point behind both Manchester United and City.
The Red Devils sit top on goal difference, having beaten West Ham 4-0 on Saturday. Arsenal, meanwhile, are just two points behind Hayes’ side in fourth, having thrashed Tottenham 5-1 in the North London derby.