Fran Kirby scored four as Chelsea thrashed Reading

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FRAN Kirby scored four as Chelsea thrashed Reading to move three points off the Women’s Super League summit.

Sam Kerr’s flick-on sent Kirby away to round Royals keeper Grace Moloney, before she held off Emma Mitchell to guide in her second goal.

Kerr then crossed for the unmarked Kirby to head in and complete a first-half hat-trick.

The England international headed in Guro Reiten’s corner before Ji So-yun’s half-volley completed the rout.

Reading have now taken just two points off Chelsea in nine league matches as the defending champions leapfrogged above Arsenal into second place and within three points of leaders Manchester United with a game in hand.

It was the sole WSL game of the weekend to survive, with four matches falling foul of Covid-19, and injury-hit Birmingham calling off their trip to Tottenham.

Chelsea had failed to score more than once in a game away from home all season – having netted 19 at home – but Kirby quickly ended that run with two goals in seven minutes as the Blues took control early on.

The 27-year-old seemed keen to make up for lost time after being hampered by illness and injury and glanced a second header past Moloney to make it seven goals for the season, before Blundell’s fizzing cross found substitute Ji to complete a tough day for the Royals, who stayed sixth.

The dominant first half allowed the Blues, who are unbeaten in 30 league games since January 2019, to save some energy for next weekend’s showdown with United, knowing they will go top with victory at Kingsmeadow.

BBCSport

– Jan. 11, 2021 @ 08:31 GMT |

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