Chelsea secured an impressive 5-1 victory against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, thanks to an outstanding hat-trick from Lauren James. Additionally, Sophie Ingle made history by surpassing the record for the highest number of appearances in the Women’s Super League.
In a captivating performance, James became the youngest player to make four goal contributions in a WSL match. Agnes Beever-Jones and Sjoeke Nusken also scored for Chelsea, while Ingle demonstrated her exceptional skills by providing her first assist of the season in her 184th WSL game. Ingle played a crucial role in assisting James to score her first goal, giving Chelsea an early advantage. However, Liverpool quickly retaliated with an own goal from Jess Carter. Nevertheless, Beever-Jones’ strike only ten minutes later restored Chelsea’s authority. The second half was dominated by James, who scored two more goals, completing her hat-trick and effectively securing the win for Chelsea. Nusken then added a fifth goal with 12 minutes remaining, concluding a commanding victory for the Blues.
This game held significant importance for Ingle and Chelsea, occurring just a week after the 32-year-old matched the record of 183 appearances set by former Birmingham City and Tottenham defender, Kerys Harrop. Ingle, when reflecting on her accomplishment, modestly expressed, “Attaining this record is quite gratifying. I’ve been a part of this league for a considerable amount of time, which also indicates my age. It is truly a privilege for me to reach this milestone, particularly at a prestigious club like Chelsea. The league has become increasingly challenging with each passing year, but I am proud to have achieved this personal feat.” Ingle, who was honored with an OBE in 2023 for her contributions to football, has triumphed as the WSL champion on four occasions, consecutively securing the title from 2019 to 2023 during her second tenure at Chelsea. She started her professional journey in Cardiff and then transferred to Chelsea in 2012. After that, she moved to Bristol Academy in 2014 and had a successful three-year period at Liverpool before returning to West London guided by Emma Hayes in 2018.
After their impressive win against Liverpool, Chelsea is now leading the table with six points more than Arsenal, who are in second place. The team managed by Hayes remains undefeated this season, along with Manchester United. Chelsea’s upcoming match is a tough UEFA Champions League clash against Paris FC on Thursday, following their 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in Spain last week.