Chelsea will have to wait to see if they can be crowned Women’s Super League champions for the fourth consecutive season after victory over Arsenal took them within striking distance of the title.
If Manchester United fail to beat rivals Manchester City at 18:45 BST, Chelsea will be champions again.
Emma Hayes’ team did very well at Kingsmeadow, taking the lead in the first half through goals from Guro Reiten and Magdalena Eriksson.
They were given a scare when Arsenal were awarded a penalty for Sophie Ingle’s handball but captain Katie McCabe dragged it from the spot.
That was Arsenal’s chance to hit back, coming shortly after Caitlin Foord flicked an effort over the crossbar.
Chelsea continued, using a fort at Kingsmeadow to take them to an 11th win in 11 at home in the WSL this season.
It was captain Eriksson’s last home game in a Chelsea shirt after it was confirmed this week that he would leave at the end of the season and he ran to celebrate with the fans after scoring their second.
He headed Sam Kerr just before half-time, after Reiten had superbly slotted in the opener with a half-volley 20 minutes later.
The Gunners, unbeaten in three WSL fixtures against Hayes’ side under manager Jonas Eidevall, still have work to do to ensure their qualification for next season’s Champions League.
While Chelsea hope that United will drop points against City, Arsenal will be hoping for the opposite, as they sit three points above City in the last European qualification.
Kingsmeadow fortress helps Chelsea to the title
Chelsea’s achievements grow every year and they are on the verge of securing a Double after winning the FA Cup earlier this month.
Arsenal are considered the last major challengers to Chelsea but a terrible record at home – they have now won a record 15 consecutive WSL games on home soil – always favors the Blues.
Their supporters arrived early, perhaps preparing for a day of celebration, and the stands were filled before kick-off.
Arsenal also have strong support in Kingston upon Thames with the rivalry between the teams reflected in their songs.
The home support were the loudest cheers as the teams headed into the break tunnel with Chelsea deservedly 2-0 up after a slow attacking game.
Arsenal weren’t short of chances of their own – Stina Blackstenius was denied by goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger and Frida Maanum’s powerful strike hit the post.
More chances came for the Gunners in the second half but Chelsea looked in control as they saw out victory.
Hayes’ side were warmly applauded at full-time as they stayed on to show their appreciation for the home support that played such a crucial role in their title.
Chelsea’s last game of the season was at bottom of the table Reading on Saturday but they don’t have to wait until they are crowned champions.
Arsenal who have been injured have not reached the heights of Chelsea
Arsenal have had some great clashes with Chelsea in recent seasons but this is one side more than ever.
Riddled with injuries to key players, including four players with anterior cruciate ligament injuries to their knees, Arsenal will always face a tall order to thwart a Chelsea side in the hunt a lot of silverware.
“Champions of England, we know what we are” are the words chanted by Chelsea supporters throughout and Arsenal have never reached the heights of Hayes’ team since their last league title in 2019 .
However, their aim is to finish the season in the top three, which is an achievement worth celebrating given the serious injuries that have plagued this campaign.
They reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and they want to go there again next year. Next week’s win against Aston Villa should ensure that as long as they maintain their superior goal difference at City.
- 15He should have diedReplaced byBuchananon 84′MINUTE
- 21Dr. Charles
- 10JamesReplaced byCarteron 63′MINUTE
- 23More difficultReplaced byFlemingon 73′MINUTE
- 19Riding in Kaneryd
- 3Hey WubbenBooked in 34mins
- 5BeattieReplaced byQueiroz Costaon 88′MINUTE
- 2Carvalho Souza
- 16MaritzReplaced bySPEEDILYon 80′MINUTE
- 15McCabeBooked in 45mins
- 22COLDReplaced byCatleyon 45′MINUTE
- 25BlacksteniusReplaced byTayloron 74′MINUTE
- 20Queiroz Costa
- Abigail Byrne
The match ended, Chelsea Women 2, Arsenal Women 0.
Second Half ends, Chelsea Women 2, Arsenal Women 0.
Fouled by Gio Queiroz (Arsenal Women).
Jess Carter (Chelsea Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Chelsea Girls. Magdalena Eriksson tried a through ball, but Sam Kerr was caught offside.
The attempt failed. Guro Reiten (Chelsea Women) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.
The attempt failed. Sam Kerr (Chelsea Women) header from the center of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jessie Fleming with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Chelsea Girls. Katie McCabe admits.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Gio Queiroz replaced Jen Beattie.
Corner, Arsenal Women. Maren Mjelde considers.
Test survived. Steph Catley (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top center of the goal. Assisted by Frida Maanum.
Corner, Arsenal Women. Considered by Magdalena Eriksson.
Attempt blocked. Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Fouled by Katie McCabe (Arsenal Women).
Sam Kerr (Chelsea Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Replacement, Chelsea Women. Kadeisha Buchanan replaces Ève Périsset.
Offside, Arsenal Women. Victoria Pelova tried a through ball, but Jodie Taylor was offside.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Lina Hurtig replaced Noëlle Maritz.
Caitlin Foord (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Fouled by Maren Mjelde (Chelsea Women).