Thursday, May 23, 2024

Hayes concedes title race is over as Chelsea suffer dramatic Liverpool defeat

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 May 2024

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It has been a difficult week for Chelsea and their boss Emma Hayes.

After seeing their Champions League dreams dashed by holders Barcelona on Saturday, they had no margin for error when they travelled to Liverpool in the Women’s Super League on Wednesday.

Six points behind Manchester City with two games in hand but an inferior goal difference, the Blues needed three points to stop Hayes’ final season in charge from totalling unravelling.

But there was to be no respite for the Blues, who were at one point tipped for a quadruple but have been stuck in a downward spiral since losing Sam Kerr to an anterior cruciate ligament injury during the winter break.

Matt Beard’s Liverpool put on a tremendous display to win 4-3, with Gemma Bonner scoring a stoppage-time equaliser to leave Hayes certain the title is out of reach.

“I think the title is done,” she said after Wednesday’s game.

“Of course mathematically it’s not, but I think the title is done. Our job between now and the end of the season is to keep pushing until the end, but I think it will be very difficult.

“This team has done a tremendous job in my time here to push for titles.

“I don’t know if we have ever conceded four goals in a half before. Three from set pieces is just unforgivable. But I’m going to credit Liverpool.”

Chelsea now need an almighty collapse from City, who may only require three points from their remaining two matches to seal the title, if their goal difference advantage holds firm.

Hayes believes fighting on multiple fronts has not helped her team, adding: “We looked exhausted but I don’t want to make excuses.

“I want to remind our fans how much success we have brought over the years. It’s just not to be this year.”

Next up, Chelsea face relegated Bristol City in their final home game before Hayes departs to take the United States job, with City taking on Arsenal in Sunday’s headline fixture.

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