Chelsea take control of WSL title race with thrashing of Leicester

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Pernille Harder scored twice as Chelsea warmed up for the FA Cup final by moving a point behind Women’s Super League leaders Manchester United thanks to a 6-0 thrashing of lowly Leicester.

Emma Hayes’ reigning champions, who face United at Wembley on Sunday, took control of the contest courtesy of Guro Reiten’s eighth-minute finish and Erin Cuthbert’s 50th goal for the club.

Harder’s second double in as many games – following a brace in Sunday’s 7-0 thrashing over Everton – put the result beyond doubt before the break.

Lauren James stretched the Blues’ advantage with a stunning solo goal in the 56th minute before Jelena Cankovic completed the scoring in added time with another spectacular strike.

Second-placed Chelsea, who have won four league matches in a row, have a game in hand on title rivals United and an identical goal difference.


Relegation-threatened Leicester – thumped 8-0 at home by the Blues in December – remain two points above bottom club Reading with two games to go following their 15th defeat of a difficult campaign.

Pernille Harder was on target as Chelsea thumped Leicester

Arsenal boosted their hopes of Champions League qualification by climbing to third after Stina Blackstenius’ early brace helped them record a 4-0 success over Brighton.

Sweden forward Blackstenius struck in the sixth and eighth minutes to set the visitors on course for a comfortable victory.

Frida Maanum and Victoria Pelova also claimed first-half goals for the Gunners, who climbed above Manchester City on goal difference with a game in hand.

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