27th Oct, 2016

Birmingham City Ladies see 12-game unbeaten run ended by title chasing Chelsea

Steve Carpenter 28th Aug, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

BIRMINGHAM City’s 12-game unbeaten run came to an end on Sunday after the were on the wrong side of a 4-0 thumping by Women’s Super League title contenders Chelsea.

David Parker’s side had conceded just three goals in their last 12 matches but second-placed Chelsea showed why they are one of the best teams in the country as Karen Carney scored on her return to her former club with a goal, while Eniola Aluko, Gemma Davison and So-Yun also got on the scoresheet.

Chelsea were quick out of the blocks and were ahead after just three minutes when England striker Aluko was given space on the edge of the area before shooting low into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Three minutes later the visitors doubled their lead thanks to Carney who headed a Claire Rafferty cross past Ann-Katrin Berger in the Blues goal.

Carney was denied by Berger after being put through on goal in the tenth minute as the home side struggled to find their feet and settle into the match.

Abbey-Leigh Stringer had Blues’ first effort on goal but her 25-yard shot was comfortable for former Blues goalkeeper Becky Spencer.

Chelsea extended their lead further on 23 minutes when Carney turned provider as she set up the impressive Davison who beat Berger with a low finish.

A fourth goal came shortly before the half-hour mark. Berger did well to save Aluko’s powerful shot at goal but So-Yun was on-hand to fire home the rebound.

Birmingham created just one further opportunity in first half injury-time but Mel Lawley’s audacious lob from 35-yards out sailed over the bar.

Blues boss Parker made two changes at half-time with Chloe Peplow and Kirsty Linnett coming on for Stringer and Andrine Hegerberg and although they kept Chelsea at bay, they were unable to find a breakthrough themselves.

On 53 minutes Jess Carter’s free kick into the box was touched narrowly wide by skipper Emily Westwood while at the other end Rafferty ended a quick Chelsea break by firing over from the penalty spot.

Carney came ever so close to marking her Blues return with a brace as she unleashed a powerful long range shot which thundered off the bar before eventually being cleared by the Blues defence.

In the final ten minutes the home side pressed for what would have been a consolation goal which created more chances for the visitors on the break.

Berger did well to save substitute Bailey’s long range effort and Davison should have done better when put clean through on goal but she dragged her shot wide.

It could have been five in added-on time but again Berger was alert to deny Davison in front of goal after some great work down the left by substitute Borges.

Attendance: 685

Birmingham City: Berger, Carter, Harrop, Ayisi, Hegerberg (Peplow 45), Stringer (Linnett 45), Ewers (Windell 60), Lawley, Wellings, Westwood (c), Mannion

Unused subs: Baggaley, Haines, Johnson, Davies