Chelsea Ladies hosted the perfect housewarming party on Sunday, thrashing Bristol City 6-0 in their new Kingsmeadow home.
The team’s top scorer from the Spring Series, Drew Spence, opened the scoring early and from there the result was never in doubt. Fran Kirby added to the lead before half-time, and a Maren Mjelde brace, Magda Eriksson debut strike and Gilly Flaherty finish rounded off the win.
The Blues were without international superstars Ramona Bachmann and Crystal Dunn but nevertheless still started with a dangerous looking frontline. Emma Hayes also handed debuts to the Scandinavian defensive duo of Eriksson and Maria Thorisdottir.
The game was a curious matchup at first, with both teams opting for three-man defences which resulted in plenty of space in the middle of the park, but ultimately it was Chelsea who exploited it over the 90 minutes.
Chelsea’s first goal came from the head of Spence, after Karen Carney found space to send in a teasing cross from the right hand side in the 13th minute. Kirby doubled the lead after Bristol failed to clear an attack, the forward with a pinpoint finish past Sophie Baggaley.
The goal of the game though was undoubtedly the third, as the ball was switched from Thorisdottir on the right to Davison – who’d shown great vision throughout the game – on the left. The winger sent a cross into the box and it was cushioned by Carney into the path of Maren Mjelde, who took a touch through two defenders before calmly slotting home.
The Norwegian finished off another piece of unselfish play from Davison, but not before Eriksson had nodded home a Carney corner from close range.
Vice-captain Gilly Flaherty netted in the final minute, after Thorisdottir flicked on Eriksson’s teasing inswinging free kick, to round off the rout for Chelsea.
This result puts the Blues on top of the table following the opening round of league fixtures. They will travel to Sunderland next Saturday (September 30th) for their next match, before hosting Bayern Munich in the Champions League on October 4th.
Goals: Spence 13, Kirby 40, Mjelde 52, Eriksson 79, Mjelde 87, Flaherty 90
Chelsea Ladies (L-R): Lindahl; Eriksson, Flaherty, Thorisdottir; Davison, Mjelde, Chapman, Blundell (Cuthbert); Spence (Ji), Kirby (Aluko), Carney
CLFCfans Player of the Match: Gemma Davison