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Kerr’s Chelsea thump West Ham in WSL

Matildas skipper Sam Kerr has helped Chelsea thump West Ham 4-1 in the FA Women’s Super League on a difficult day for the club.

Kerr and her teammates responded in fine fashion after Chelsea boss Emma Hayes, who brought on Russian full-back Alsu Abdullina as a late substitute, urged her players to forget about the uncertainty at Stamford Bridge.

Sanctions were earlier imposed on owner Roman Abramovich, leaving Chelsea’s future up in the air, but the team responded with Denmark international Pernille Harder striking twice to help them bounce back from their Continental Tyres League Cup final disappointment.

Harder’s double came either side of a Niamh Charles strike as the visitors raced into a 3-0 half-time lead, and although Dagny Brynjarsdottir pulled a goal back, Sam Kerr ensured the revival ended there.

Chelsea, who suffered cup final heartache at the hands of arch-rivals Manchester City at the weekend, now sit five points adrift of leaders Arsenal, but with two games in hand.

Harder, who had already hit a post with an early header, opened her account with 21 minutes gone when she curled a left-footed shot past Australian No.1 Mackenzie Arnold, and the home keeper was picking the ball out of her net once again just two minutes later.

This time, it was Charles who took aim from distance with a powerfully struck attempt which took a slight defection to leave Arnold helpless.

The Blues looked to be in complete control 13 minutes before the break when Harder helped herself to a second with an emphatic header from Ji So-yun’s inch-perfect cross.

However, the Hammers reduced the deficit within three minutes of the restart when Brynjarsdottir volleyed Kate Longhurst’s cross past Zecira Musovic to spark something of a fightback.

But the respite proved to be temporary as Kerr restored Chelsea’s three-goal advantage from close range with 63 minutes gone, if slightly against the run of play, cementing the win in the process.

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