Player ratings as Blues reach Continental Cup semi-finals
Chelsea deservedly progressed to the Continental Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 victory over Tottenham at Brisbane Road on Wednesday evening.
After seeing their game abandoned after just six minutes against Liverpool last time out, Chelsea were treated to a full 90 in east London – but had the game as good as wrapped up after 68 minutes thanks to goals from Erin Cuthbert and Fran Kirby.
Sam Kerr added a third four minutes from time, before Drew Spence netted a stunning consolation in stoppage time against her former club.
The first opening of a tightly contested first half fell to Eve Perisset, who flashed an effort narrowly wide after bombing forward from right back.
The hosts quickly grew into the game and ultimately gave a better account of themselves than they had a Stamford Bridge two months earlier, despite the near-identical scoreline.
Celin Bizet fired into the gloves of Zecira Musovic following a surging run, and the right flank continued to be a source of danger for Spurs. Bethany England was sent scampering in behind after neat build up play from Eveliina Summanen and Mana Iwabuchi but couldn’t quite pick out Rosella Ayane as she cut inside and bore towards goal.
Chelsea started to find their rhythm as the half progressed. Lauren James fired straight at Tina-Riikka Korpela following a flowing Blues move, with Kerr at the heart of it, sending Guro Reiten away with a delicious flick.
Kerr and James were then involved, this time in a slick Chelsea breakaway, as the latter came close to breaking the deadlock. Cuthbert sent Kerr away with a fabulous cross field pass, and the Australian found James in acres of space with a smart switch of play. James saw her effort deflect narrowly wide.
A goal was coming, and Chelsea deservedly opened the scoring seven minutes before the break. Cuthbert wormed her way into the box after being found by Reiten, and her low effort deflected past Korpela to give the visitors a narrow lead at the break.
Spurs started the second half brightly as they went in search of an equaliser, Spence coming close to getting on the scoresheet after being picked out by a determined Bizet. However, she fired wide.
Substitute Kirby put the game beyond Tottenham after 68 minutes. Millie Bright’s exquisite switch of play found James, who darted past Kerys Harrop before squaring it to Kirby. The Chelsea forward expertly found the corner with a first time finish – just eight minutes after entering the fray.
Kerr should have added a third after being superbly played through by Kirby, but Korpela was out quickly to thwart the Chelsea forward. Kerr did get her goal four minutes from time with a dinked finish after being found by Johanna Rytting Kaneryd following a quick free kick.
Spence got on the scoresheet against her former club in stoppage time with a spectacular drive from range, but it would only be a consolation and Chelsea’s progression to the semi finals was comfortably assured.
GK: Tinja-Riikka Korpela – 6/10 – Held onto efforts from Cankovic, James and Kerr in the first half, and made a really good stop to deny Kerr in the second.
RWB: Celin Bizet – 6/10 – Bombed forward whenever possible and played like a forward when Spurs were in possession. Fired into the hands of Musovic inside the opening 15 minutes after a bursting run forward. Beat Carter and teed up Spence for a really good second half Spurs chance. Looked one of Spurs’ most dangerous players, but wasn’t utilised enough in the final third.
CB: Amy Turner – 5/10 – Made a brave headed clearance to keep out Carter in the second half, but stretched by the effervescent Chelsea front three.
CB: Molly Bartrip – 5/10 – Cleared up well to prevent James tearing clean through on goal in the second half. Struggled to deal with the runs of Kerr in behind.
CB: Shelina Zadorsky – 5/10 – Won plenty in the air but ultimately second best against Chelsea’s frightening forward line.
LWB: Kerys Harrop – 5/10 – Got forward frequently in the first half. Had a tough time up against James James, beaten all ends up by the Chelsea forward for the second goal.
RM: Mana Iwabuchi – 7/10 – Was at the heart of many of Spurs’ most positive moves, linking well with Summanen and Ayane deep in the Chelsea half. Threaded a couple of beautiful passes in behind – a really promising debut.
CM: Eveliina Summanen – 6/10 – Combined well with Iwabuchi before springing England away in one of Tottenham’s most promising first half moves. Neat and tidy in possession.
CM: Drew Spence – 6/10 – Made an important interception to halt a positive first half Chelsea move inside the Tottenham box. Fired just wide early in the second. On the scoresheet in stoppage time.
LM: Rosella Ayane – 5/10 – Largely on the fringes of proceedings, unable to have a telling impact on the game.
ST: Bethany England – 6/10 – Ran her heart out, running the channels and almost picking out Ayane in one of her side’s most promising forays forward in the first half. Never really had a clear sighting of goal herself.
SUB: Chioma Ubogaga (58′ for Iwabuchi) – 5/10
SUB: Angharad James (83′ for Summanen) – N/A
GK: Zecira Musovic – 6/10 – Held onto a low Bizet drive in the first half, palmed away a cross and got down low to keep out Turner.
RB: Eve Perisset – 7/10 – Flashed an effort narrowly wide in the first half and got forward well. Solid defensively.
CB: Millie Bright – 8/10 – Switched play well on a number of occasions – including in the build up to Chelsea’s second, finding the feet of James with a trademark cross field pass.
CB: Kadeisha Buchanan – 6/10 – Rarely tested defensively, steady and composed.
LB: Jess Carter – 6/10 – Beaten by Bizet on a couple of occasions. Switched to right back for the final 20 minutes.
CM: Sophie Ingle – 6/10 – Neat and tidy without setting the game alight. Replaced after an hour.
CM: Erin Cuthbert – 7/10 – Sent Kerr away with a superb cross field pass in the first half, before opening the scoring with a low strike.
CM: Jelana Cankovic – 7/10 – Fired into the arms of Korpela from range in the first half. At the heart of a number of positive Chelsea moves with her pinpoint, probing passing. Replaced after an hour.
RW: Lauren James – 8/10 – Fired efforts into the hands of Korpela and narrowly wide in the first half. Darted past Harrop and smartly picked out Kirby for Chelsea’s second. A constant threat.
ST: Sam Kerr – 8/10 – Created a handful of promising first half openings for Chelsea with a fabulous flick to Reiten and a smart switch of play to James. Headed her first sight of goal into the arms of Korpela on the stroke of half time, before getting on the scoresheet with a dinked finish in the second half.
LW: Guro Reiten – 7/10 – Teed up Cuthbert for Chelsea’s opener, and sent her through again shortly after with a fabulous back heel. Lively and creative.
SUB: Fran Kirby (60′ for Cankovic) – 8/10 – Netted her side’s second with a really well-taken, first time effort.
SUB: Jessie Fleming (60′ for Ingle) – 6/10
SUB: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (76′ for Reiten) – 6/10
SUB: Niamh Charles (86′ for Perisset) – N/A