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Sam Kerr wins fifth straight WSL title with Chelsea

3 minute read

Australia captain Sam Kerr has become a five-time English champion with Chelsea as Mary Fowler's goal for chasers Man City proved in vain in the title climax.

Sam Kerr.
Sam Kerr. Picture: AAP Image

Injured Sam Kerr has joined Chelsea's celebrations, overjoyed at seeing her teammates become English Women's Super League champions for a fifth successive year with a thumping 6-0 triumph at Manchester United.

Australia captain Kerr, who's played a huge part in all five of the triumphs despite missing half of this season with an ACL tear, received her winner's medal on the pitch at Old Trafford after Chelsea's magnificent win sealed the title on goal difference and provided the perfect send-off for departing manager Emma Hayes .

But it was a day full of disappointment for two of Kerr's Matildas' teammates, Mary Fowler and Alanna Kennedy, whose Manchester City side had to settle for the runner's up spot despite winning 2-1 at Aston Villa.

Fowler scored their first goal but it wasn't enough to propel them to a big enough win, as City needed to both win and better Chelsea's victory margin by three goals.

That was never going to happen once Mayra Ramirez had scored the first of her double in just 89 seconds, the prelude to a dazzling individual performance from the Colombian striker, featuring two assists to go with her brace, that even Kerr would have been proud of.

Chelsea went on to destroy United in front of a whooping Kerr and a VIP audience, including Sir Alex Ferguson, who would have been in full hair-dryer mode if any of his teams had played so badly.

Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Sjoeke Nusken, Melanie Leupolz and, emotionally, the departing Fran Kirby - Kerr's old partner in a deadly Blues' strike combo - all got on the scoresheet to help coach Hayes earn a seventh league title, the ideal way to leave the club before she takes on the US women's national team job.

Afterwards, as Kerr joined in the celebrations in typically effusive fashion while even offering her own version of Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Siuuu!' celebrations on the pitch, Hayes hugged the Aussie who has contributed so much to her annexation of 14 trophies as Chelsea boss.

Without her next season, Chelsea will have to take a different direction and it's unclear yet what part Kerr will play in their future.

Yet the sight of Ramirez rampaging around Old Trafford gave a tantalising image of what a fearsome double act they could prove once Kerr is fully recovered from her injury.

"We've had some big injuries this year," said Hayes, referring to Kerr and Millie bright in particular.

"That's why, for me, this is the best title because we're not stupid, we know we weren't at our best. But for us to win a title - wow. I'm sorry, I don't think you guys realise how hard it is to win and win and win and win. I almost can't believe we've won the title."

Arsenal, with their three Matildas Kyra Cooney-Cross, Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord, ended then season with a 5-0 win over Brighton, cementing their third-place finish.

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