JUST TRY TO STOP THE CHELSEA LADIES

JUST TRY TO STOP THE CHELSEA LADIES

Author

Gaby Kirschner
Gaby Kirschner

One Chelsea team hasn’t disappointed at all yet this year.

Chelsea Ladies have not lost any momentum since being crowned 2017 Spring Series champions. If anything, they’ve gained it.

After four league, two Champions League matches, and the start to the Continental Tyres Cup campaign Chelsea have been all but unstoppable. They’ve had a perfect start to the WSL season, winning all their matches and racking up a +19 goal difference through three separate 6-0 wins in the process, and although they technically lost their UWCL Round of 32 match to Bayern, they still advanced to the next round on away goals. And against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Cup, they came away with a tidy 3-0 win.

In total, that’s 24 goals scored and only two — two — conceded in all competitions. That’s a +22 goal difference after 7 games.

Chelsea’s dominance has also been meaningful for one player in particular: Eni Aluko

Aluko, one of their star strikers, hadn’t been picked by Mark Sampson for the England squad since April 2016, despite being the WSL 1 top scorer with 9 goals in just 13 starts the subsequent season — and then, after accusing Sampson of favoritism over the former, also found herself at the helm of a dispute with the FA over accusing him of racist remarks as well.

But the tumultuousness of her off-pitch offseason has not carried into Chelsea’s matches, and has given her some of the redemption she could not get during an injury-prone Spring Series. In the 21 goals Chelsea have scored so far, Aluko has three — joint-most, tied with Fran Kirby and Maren Mjelde. Two of those came in their most recent match, the second and sixth goals in a 6-0 romp over Yeovil Town.

The match was also Aluko’s first since speaking to the UK parliamentary committee about the FA’s mishandling of her complaints against Mark Sampson. After the Yeovil match she told journalist Paul Logan that she’d like to “move on” from the long, arduous process that followed her accusations and, instead, “do [her] talking on the pitch.”

With the brace, she spoke loud and clear. And, if interim manager Mo Marley is seriously interested in bringing Aluko back to the national team squad, Aluko might soon rightfully regain the biggest stage on which she can do so.

In the meantime, though, she’ll keep helping Chelsea score their way to a second consecutive League title.

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