Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Lucy Bronze on a free transfer.

The right-back signed a two-year deal following her departure from Barcelona at the end of her contract in June.

She won seven trophies during her time with the Catalan club, including the quadruple of the Champions League, Liga F, Copa de la Reina and the Supercopa de Espana Femenia last season.

Bronze made 70 appearances in two years at Barcelona, scoring four goals.

Speaking to Chelsea's media channels, Bronze said: "To know I'm a Chelsea player still feels a little bit surreal.

"It's obviously a club I know so much about and have done for such a long time. I'm really excited to be back in England. My family are so excited as well to get to more of my games.

"I'm excited to be in London, to see what the capital holds and to be at a club that is renowned for winning so many trophies."

Bronze has won every domestic honour in England during spells at Sunderland, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City, while she also won a league title and the Champions League during three years at Lyon.

The 32-year-old is the fourth signing under new manager Sonia Bompastor, who took over following Emma Hayes' departure. The club have also brought in Sandy Baltimore and Oriane Jean-Francois from Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Julia Bartel from Barca.

Fran Kirby has joined Brighton and Hove Albion on a free transfer following her departure from Chelsea.

The England international won five Women's Super League titles during her nine-year stint with the Blues, for whom she scored 108 goals in 195 appearances.

Brighton finished ninth in the WSL last season, and will certainly be boosted by Kirby's vast experience, having also been part of the triumphant Lionesses side at Euro 2022.

The 31-year-old is the Seagulls' third signing ahead of the 2024-25 campaign, after Japan striker Kiko Seike and Netherlands defender Marisa Olislagers.

"I'm a competitive person and I wanted to come to a club that matched my ambitions, to set high standards on and off the pitch, and to use my experience to help the young players develop," Kirby told the club's official website. 

"I want to help create a culture with a group of players who want amazing success.

"I wanted to stay in this league because I still want to be competing week in week out. And as long as I can help a team progress, that's what I want to do."

Chelsea striker Sam Kerr has signed a new two-year deal until 2026, the club announced on Thursday.

Kerr, whose contract was due to expire at the end of the Women's Super League season, has scored 99 goals in 128 matches since joining from Chicago Red Stars in 2019.

The 30-year-old has played a huge role in the success of Emma Hayes' side in recent years, winning five consecutive league titles along with three FA Cups, two League Cups and the Community Shield. 

During the 2022-23 campaign, Kerr scored 29 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions, making her 100th appearance for the Blues in the process. 

The striker has not played since January because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury and has been ruled out of the Australia squad for this summer's Olympics in Paris.

"It’s really exciting and a very proud moment for me," Kerr said after putting pen to paper on her new deal. "Having the opportunity to stay at a club like Chelsea means a lot to me. I’m really excited to continue to push and to try to win trophies."

Since arriving in England, Kerr has claimed the Golden Boot twice and was runner-up to Spain's Aitana Bonmati at the Ballon d'Or awards last year.

Kerr would also become the first player to be awarded the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year prize twice in a row. 

Sonia Bompastor has been appointed as Chelsea Women's new head coach, replacing Emma Hayes at Stamford Bridge.

Hayes oversaw a fifth straight Women's Super League title for the Blues this season but departed to take up a role with the United States Women's national side.

Bompastor was expected to come in as the replacement for Hayes, with the announcement confirmed on Wednesday as Chelsea managed to strike a compensation deal with Lyon Women.

The 43-year-old, who has signed a four-year deal with Chelsea, leaves the French side after a successful three years in charge, winning three league tiles and the Women's Champions League in 2022.

"The sporting directors and I conducted a thorough and considered recruitment process to identify Emma’s successor," Chelsea's general manager Paul Green said of the appointment.

"Sonia's vision, coaching philosophy and winning mentality made her the outstanding candidate.

"She is a world-class coach with a proven track record of success on the biggest stages that will instantly command respect from the dressing room."

Bompastor won seven trophies during her time with French heavyweights Lyon but lost the Champions League final last Saturday against Barcelona.

She was capped 156 times by the French national team before retiring in 2013, and subsequently becoming the first woman to win the Champions League as a player and coach after her success with Lyon.

Assistants Camille Abily and Theo Rivrin will join Bompastor as Chelsea prepare for a new era without Hayes, who departs the Blues after a 12-year spell that yielded 14 major domestic titles. 

The 2023-24 season was one of the best to date for the Women's Super League since its inception.

The drama of the title race going down to the final day; all three domestic trophies being won by different sides and record attendances across the league - fans have been filling stadiums and proving women’s football has an exciting future.

Chelsea went into the season as defending champions of the WSL and FA Cup, and looking to make history by securing a fifth consecutive league title. Emma Hayes and her team have dominated over the last ten years and this season looked set to be no different. 

The Blues got there in the end, but it wasn't easy...

The Hayes dynasty and the end of an era

A shock reverberated around the women's game in November when Hayes announced that, after 11 years in charge, she would be leaving Chelsea to join the US Women’s National Team as coach.

Hayes is the most decorated manager in Chelsea's history, and transformed them into serial winners domestically. She departs the WSL as the manager with the most games (212), most wins (151) and the fourth-best win rate (71.2 per cent - minimum 50 games managed).

Her legacy will be more than just the 16 trophies she won, including the WSL title this term.

The growth of women's football during Hayers' tenure has been meteoric, and she could have only dreamed of the farewell she received as, at one of England’s most iconic football stadia in Old Trafford, Chelsea thrashed Manchester United 6-0 to seal their fifth straight WSL crown.

Millie Bright, Chelsea's captain, had labelled the team as "mentality monsters", and that was certainly a fitting tag, as the champions scored four first-half goals to dash any lingering hopes Man City had of winning the title.

Hayes' final triumph came despite star striker Sam Kerr suffering an ACL injury in January, though Colombia forward Mayra Ramirez arrived from Levante for a British record transfer fee of £384,000 plus a further £42,000 in potential add-ons.

Ramirez proved her worth, grabbing two goals in a first half in which she was unplayable and a delight to watch. Fran Kirby, meanwhile, came on to score on her final WSL appearance for Chelsea, and leaves the Blues as their all-time leading goal scorer (63) and assister (33) in the competition.

City only managed a 2-1 win away to Aston Villa, meaning the WSL title was settled on goal difference for just the second time after Liverpool finished ahead of Chelsea in the 2014 season, with the Blues goal difference of +53 this campaign the fourth best in the competition’s history.

The champions also scored the most goals by a team in a single WSL season (71).

Hayes reflected on her special time at the club in her first interview as the USWNT boss.

Speaking to the USWNT media channel, she said: "I am proud of the fact that I could leave that club in a better place and one that I hope continues to compete. But for me, the challenge of competing for World Cups, for the Olympics, and the dream of coaching a team that I have always wanted to get the opportunity to do. I simply couldn't turn it down."

So close, yet so far, for City

City once again came so close to bursting Chelsea’s bubble and spoiling Hayes’ party. However, after it being in their own hands, a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the penultimate match gave the advantage back to Chelsea.

Gareth Taylor's team City became the first team in WSL history to win 10 away games in a single season, with their only failure to win on the road coming at Arsenal in November.

City missed plenty of chances in that game, and their bad luck in front of goal correlated with the injury to Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw against West Ham.

Shaw missed the final three league games, having become the first player in WSL history to record a goal or assist in 10 consecutive appearances (15 goals, one assist).

The Jamaican was prolific for City, scoring 21 times in 18 appearances, securing the Golden Boot award. Shaw was also named Football Writers Award Footballer of the Year and the WSL Player of the Year. She even became the second-quickest player to score 50 WSL goals, behind only Vivianne Miedema. Kerr is the only other player to have netted 20+ goals in back-to-back seasons, meanwhile.

Yet City still fell short of what would have been their first title since 2016. They have now been runners-up six times (five times to Chelsea), four more than any other side. 

Glory glory Man Utd

Despite the end-of-season drubbing for United, the previous weekend had seen Marc Skinner and his side create history of their own, this time in the FA Cup. For the first time in 11 years, the trophy was not lifted by Arsenal, Chelsea or Man City, proving the true development around the league.

United were featuring in the FA Cup final for the second consecutive year, having not reached this stage before 2023, and headed into the tie against Tottenham as favourites. They lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the 2022-23 final and did not want history to repeat itself.

They duly banished last year's demons in front of a packed Wembley, with an emphatic 4-0 win.

Ella Toone's eye-catching strike in the first half set the tone before a goal for Rachel Williams and Lucia Garcia's double added gloss to a convincing scoreline, despite Beth England hitting the crossbar for Spurs.

United became the 18th different winner of the women’s FA Cup. 

Gunners have their say

Arsenal pushed Man City and Chelsea all the way this season and although in the remaining few weeks they struggled to keep pace, they did have their say on both their rivals’ seasons endings.

The title race was effectively lost for Man City after they lost 2-1 in the dying minutes of their clash with Arsenal.

Similarly, the Gunners also got the better of Chelsea with a last-minute winner in the League Cup final, with Arsenal having won that trophy in successive seasons.

Striker Stina Blackstenius scored on both occasions, netting three important goals to secure silverware for Arsenal, frustrating Chelsea and ultimately ensuring City went empty-handed for another season. The Swede has 43 goals in 83 appearances for the Gunners and these big moments helped secure her a new contract.

So long, but maybe not farewell

The WSL has had some legends grace it over the years. World Cup winners and European champions have rocked up in the competition and it has become arguably one of the most sought-after leagues to play in.

But Hayes' was not the only shock departure.

Arsenal striker and the WSL's all-time leading goalscorer Miedema announced she would be leaving the Gunners at the end of her contract on a free transfer. With 125 goals and 50 assists for the Gunners over a seven-year period, the Dutch European Championship winner is bowing out a legend.

She has been out for most of the season, recovering from an ACL injury, but it's a shock to see such a talent allowed to leave. 

Many clubs in the WSL and around the world will relish the chance to have Miedema, who is only 27, pull on their shirt next season.

This season has been one of fond farewells, great goals, and record attendances. Next season promises to be continue the trend.

Australia captain Sam Kerr will miss the Olympic Games in Paris after failing to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament injury in time for the team's upcoming friendlies. 

The Chelsea forward suffered the injury during a mid-season training camp in January, leaving her participation in serious doubt.

Kerr represented the Matildas at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, also playing at four World Cups and four Asian Cups during her international career.

On Tuesday, Football Australia confirmed Kerr will not make the Olympic tournament – which begins on July 25 and ends on August 10 – while announcing the squad for two matches against China this month.

"Attacker Amy Sayer (ACL) and forward Sam Kerr (ACL) remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries," a statement from the governing body said. 

"Kerr and Sayer will continue their rehabilitation programmes in their home club environments and subsequently will not be available for selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games."

Kerr, who is Australia's record scorer with 69 goals, was limited to just seven starts in the 2023-24 Women's Super League, contributing four goals and three assists for the eventual champions. 

Emma Hayes says this Women’s Super League title is the "toughest but sweetest" after being pushed all the way by Manchester City.

Hayes announced earlier this season that this would be her last in charge of the Blues and had written off their chances of lifting the trophy after a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at the start of May.

However, an 8-0 victory over Bristol City followed by a 1-0 win from their game in hand over Tottenham put their fate back in their own hands going into the final day.

In the end, Chelsea won the WSL on goal difference, with another heavy 6-0 win adding to their advantage over City to help them to a fifth consecutive title.

Hayes took time after the match to reflect not only on the game but also on her 12-year stay at Chelsea.

"What a wonderful performance from the team today," she told Sky Sports. "I picked a team of leaders from the beginning, and I felt it was absolutely essential we had the emotional maturity and regulation for a stadium as fitting as this.

"We've lost a lot of players today so to have some of them back today, it was just an amazing performance.

"I can't say it's my most enjoyable [title] but it's definitely been the toughest, without doubt, and for that reason, probably the sweetest. I'm just so relieved it's over.

"I just haven't got any more to give, I know that. The hardest thing to do is five in a row, because people take their eye off the ball. My legacy is winning while building a team for the future.

"Everyone said girls can't play, nor can they fill stadiums, nor can they get paid, nor can they create history.

"Not only are we not going away, but we are going to fill them every week. Women's football now is a serious business and that for me, is what it's about."

Captain Millie Bright missed six months of the season due to a knee injury, but returned in April to help Chelsea during an important run-in.

"It was pretty special but when half the country writes you off... we've got the monster mentality, we've shown it season after season," she said after the game.

"We were given a second chance. They don't often, but you have to take them, and we did. We beat Bristol City, beat Tottenham, and we've come here and put on a five-star performance to take this title.

"It's extra special to get it for Emma [Hayes] and the players who are leaving us.

"That's our standards, we shouldn't be underestimated to make this sort of comeback because we're defending champions.

"It's been an emotional season for Emma especially. We picked her up [after the loss at Liverpool] like she does for us every day."

As expected, Jamaica and Manchester City forward Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw won the Barclays Women's Super League (WSL) Golden Boot award by a distance, becoming the first player from the club to win the prize in their 10 years in the top flight.

The award marks a clean sweep of individual prizes for Shaw, who also won the Football Writers' Association (FWA) Player of the Year award and the Women's Super League Player of the Year award in recent weeks.

Shaw’s tally of 21 goals ensured that she finished eight goals clear of Chelsea's Lauren James and Brighton’s Elisabeth Terland, who both ended with 13 goals apiece.

The 27-year-old Shaw averaged a goal every 66 minutes in the league this season, accounting for over a third of the City's total league goals. During her impressive exploits, the Jamaican also became the Club’s record goalscorer in the process, when she found the net in a 3-1 Manchester derby win at the Etihad Stadium.

The forward's campaign was cut short in April after suffering a broken leg in City's 5-0 home win against West Ham.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts again hailed the towering striker on her remarkable achievements throughout the 2023/24 campaign.

"It's pleasing to see Khadija receiving multiple accolades for her achievements," Ricketts said.

"She obviously worked hard to improve her craft and the results have been overwhelming. The management and staff of the federation congratulate her heartily and wish her a speedy recovery from her injury,” he added.

Meanwhile, Shaw's teammate Khiara Keating became the youngest player to win the Women's Super League Golden Glove award.

Keating, 19, kept nine clean sheets in 22 league games for City as they finished second behind Chelsea in the title race. Manchester United's Mary Earps kept seven clean sheets in 22 games, while Chelsea's Hannah Hampton has managed six in 10 matches.

The young shot stopper played just three league games for City last season, spending most of the second half of the campaign on loan at then-Championship side Coventry United.

Mayra Ramirez turned in a stellar performance to propel Chelsea to the WSL title in Emma Hayes' final match in charge as the Blues thrashed Manchester United 6-0.

Earlier in May, Hayes – who is ending a 12-year stint in charge of the Blues to become the United States coach – had all but given up on claiming a fifth straight WSL crown.

Yet Chelsea's 8-0 victory over Bristol City two weeks ago, combined with Manchester City's defeat to Arsenal, opened the door, and after beating Tottenham in midweek, the Blues knew a win, while maintaining their positive goal difference, would be enough.

And they made sure there was no room for error with an incredible first-half display inspired by Ramirez, who scored twice and set up goals for Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and Sjoeke Nusken at Old Trafford.

Melanie Leupolz got in on the act early in the second half as Chelsea's celebrations began in earnest, with Fran Kirby netting late on to complete the rout on her farewell appearance.

Ultimately, City – likely deflated by the news coming from Old Trafford – held up their end of the bargain, but shorn of top goalscorer Khadija Shaw, Gareth Taylor's team could only beat Aston Villa 2-1.

City were constantly chasing their title rivals, with Ramirez and Rytting Kaneryd putting Chelsea 2-0 up at United inside eight minutes.

Mary Fowler nudged City ahead at Villa Park, though when Taylor's team went in at the interval, they will have seen additional goals from record signing Ramirez and Nusken had all but sewn up the title for Chelsea already.

Leupolz has scored her first WSL goal in over two years to add further gloss for Chelsea when they came back out from the restart in Manchester, and City were then hit by a further blow when Rachel Daly equalised for Villa.

Lauren Hemp, who had assisted Fowler's opener, restored City's lead, though it was never going to be enough, with Kirby's farewell goal ensuring Chelsea finished with a goal difference of 53 compared to their rivals' 46.

Chelsea are now unbeaten across their last nine WSL games that have come on the final day of the season, while the Blues are now nine WSL matches without loss against United, having won eight of those fixtures.

The WSL title race could hardly be any closer heading into the final game of the season. Chelsea and Manchester City are locked together on 52 points apiece, with goal difference the only factor nudging the Blues ahead.

It is finely poised, and both sets of fans are in for a roller-coaster ride on Saturday.

Chelsea put themselves in pole position on Wednesday by winning their final game in hand, beating Tottenham 1-0. The Blues are now two goals ahead on goal difference ahead of facing Manchester United on Saturday. City, meanwhile, take on Aston Villa.

There could be the scenario that the teams finish level on both goal difference and goals scored. The determining metric would then be the number of league wins, followed by head-to-head record against their title rivals. In that scenario, Man City would be crowned Champions, having won away and drawn at home.

The Opta Supercomputer, though, has Chelsea in the driving seat on the final day with a 56.3 per cent chance of retaining their title.

 

City manager Garth Taylor, however, backed his team to prove the computer wrong.

"Well, I think we have a great chance. We're capable of going and scoring four," he said.

"We know we're capable. Does it mean obviously that you're able to go and do it at the weekend? Of course, because there are many factors that need to go into that. But yeah, I'll leave the data to the other guys.

"I think what we have to do is really concentrate on ourselves and make sure we don't take our eye off the ball. And like I say, start as impressively and as fast as we possibly can and see where that takes us. But you've seen with this team, they can score goals. 

"So it's just about constantly realigning them on the focus and what we need to do. Like I say, the more we've done that this season, the better we've been."

How many days have each of these teams led the way this term?

Chelsea lead the standings with an impressive 152. City have only managed 64 days at the top, and have spent much of their time chasing down the Blues.

Hayes' last hurrah

Emma Hayes will bid farewell to Chelsea and the WSL, and she is determined to go out in glorious fashion.

The last few weeks have been challenging for Hayes, with Chelsea losing to Arsenal in the League Cup final, going down to Barcelona in a controversial Champions League semi-final and then suffering a heavy defeat to Liverpool days later. Hayes had declared the title race "over" at that stage.

However, her players had other plans, and put themselves back in contention with an emphatic 8-0 win over relegated Bristol City to turn the goal difference in their favour, and followed that up by beating Spurs. City also handed them hope by losing 2-1 to Arsenal.

This last game will be an iconic goodbye, as the Blues travel to Old Trafford and face last season's challengers for the title, Man United. The fact that this match is at the men's stadium really does emphasise the huge growth the women's game has experienced in the 12 years Hayes has been in charge of Chelsea.

The United Way: Will FA Cup winners decide the title?

When Hayes started managing the Blues, United did not even have a professional women's side. United were promoted to the WSL after just one season following their establishment in 2018, and have not looked back.

Last season, it was the red side of Manchester running Hayes and her Chelsea side to the wire for the title race. This season, United created history by winning their first ever major trophy by beating Spurs 4-0 at Wembley.

United now have the fate of the title partly in their hands, though it would mean possibly gifting the crown to their rivals City.

United have won three of their four WSL games on the final day of the season, including the curtailed 2019-20 season, though that sole loss came in a 4-2 defeat to Chelsea in May 2022.

The Blues will also feel confident having got the better of Man Utd of late, unbeaten in their last eight WSL matches (W7 D1 L0).

Chelsea have scored the most goals in the WSL this season (65), six more than Man City (59), at an average of 3.0 per match, while also having the best xG (55.9) in the division.

United are looking for their first league win against Chelsea since November 2019. They have been outscored 21-7 during this streak.

Chelsea have lost just one of their last 11 away league matches played on a Saturday (W9 D1 L1), winning all of their last four on the road on this day while keeping a clean sheet in all of those victories and scoring 20 goals in the process.

United trio Mary Earps, Maya Le Tissier and Katie Zelem have played every minute of their WSL campaign this season, with City in 2019-20 the last team to have three players play 100 per cent of their total minutes in a WSL campaign (Caroline Weir, Gemma Bonner and Steph Houghton).

Zelem has created 55 chances for her team-mates, the most of any player in the competition, as well as playing 198 passes into the box, also a league-high.

Fran Kirby will pull on a Cheslea shirt for one final time. She has the most direct goal contributions 89 under Hayes in the WSL.

With 33, Kirby has also provided the most WSL assists in Hayes' tenure. She has also created the second-most chances (227), behind Ji So-Yun (228). One final crown would mark the end of an iconic stint at her time with Chelsea.

If Chelsea can get in front, they will be confident of the victory, the team have dropped a league-low three points from winning positions this season. 

City always the bridesmaid, never the bride?

City are hoping to end an eight-year wait to lift their second WSL title. In that time City have been runners up on five separate occasions.

Last time out, City suffered a 2-1 defeat against Arsenal at Joie Stadium, handing the momentum back to Chelsea in what has been an enthralling title race. This defeat snapped a 14-match winning streak and was a blow in what has been a record-breaking season.

City are unbeaten on the final day of the season across each of the last four WSL campaigns (W3 D1 – including curtailed 2019-20 season), winning each of the last three in succession.

Meanwhile, no team has had as many shots on target as City (171), who are one ahead of Chelsea's tally of 170.

Lauren Hemp has scored five goals in six prior WSL meetings with Aston Villa, including netting a brace in the reverse fixture earlier this season. She has also recorded seven assists so far in the league this season, the most of any player in the competition.

City will be without leading scorer Khadija Shaw, but they have been imperious at the back.

They have the best defence in the league in terms of goals against, having conceded only 14 times in 21 matches. However, their xGA of 18.8 is actually second-best, ranking behind Arsenal (17.7)

The star of the City defence has been shot-stopper extraordinaire Khiara Keating, in her first full season as City number one. Even ahead of the final game, the 19-year-old has been named the Golden Glove winner with nine clean sheets, beating England's number one Earps (seven).

Keating is the youngest goalkeeper ever to bag the award. Villa will present a stern test, having opened the scoring in each of their last three WSL home games, but they have failed to win any of them (D2 L1); in fact, the Villans have failed to win six of the seven home league games theyve taken a 1-0 lead in this season (W1 D3 L3).

However it plays out, one thing is for sure - Saturday will be filled with drama, tension and goals.

As these two heavyweights go toe to toe, history will be made. Either a fifth consecutive crown for Hayes as she bows out, or for the first time in many years, Chelsea could end a campaign with no silverware. 

The accolades of Jamaica and Manchester City striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw continue to mount, as she was voted the 2023/24 Barclays Women’s Super League (WSL) Player of the Season, on Friday.

This announcement came on the heels of Thursday’s Football Writers’ Association (FWA) awards gala, where Shaw was officially presented with the FWA Women Footballer of the Year trophy, alongside fellow Manchester City star Phil Foden.

To say these individual acclaims are very much deserving would be an understatement given her exploits this season, as she has been a key figure in City’s push for the WSL title.

The 27-year-old, whose season was cut short due to a broken leg, has registered 21 goals in just 18 appearances, while also providing three assists. She’s on course for another prestigious honour of finishing as the league’s top scorer, having incredibly averaged a goal every 66 minutes this season.

And it is just rewards for another phenomenal campaign in which she once again broke new ground in Gareth Taylor’s side.

Shaw is the first player to score three WSL hat-tricks in a calendar year, last year, and between November 2023 and January 2024, the forward again registered three trebles in just four matches.

Finding the net in both WSL Manchester derbies, the Jamaican’s clinical finish at the Etihad Stadium in March also saw her become City’s record goalscorer, as she swept past Georgia Stanway in the process.

Another crucial strike from Shaw came in City’s 1-0 win over Chelsea in February, as they secured the honour of being the first away side to take three points off the reigning champions at Kingsmeadow, in over three years.

In securing the Player of the Season title, the prolific Jamaican fought off the sizeable challenge of City teammate Khiara Keating, who won the Golden Glove, as well as Chelsea duo Lauren James and Niamh Charles. Arsenal’s Lotte Wubben-Moy, Tottenham Hotspurs youngster Grace Clinton, Leicester’s Jutta Rantala, and Brighton’s forward Elisabeth Terland, were also in the mix.

Lianne Sanderson believes Chelsea will get over the line in the Women's Super League (WSL) title race this weekend.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes previously declared the WSL title race as "done" following her side's 4-3 defeat to Liverpool in early May, but two wins since and a loss for title rivals Manchester CIty against Arsenal mean her team head into the final game top and with a superior goal difference.

Chelsea's goal difference of +47 to City's +45 could prove crucial as Hayes' side take on Manchester United this weekend looking to clinch the title.

City, meanwhile, travel to take on Aston Villa looking to overturn the goal difference deficit, but Sanderson feels Chelsea will get the job done.

"Obviously it's great for the neutral. For the fans, it's fantastic," Sanderson told Stats Perform.

"I think Emma Hayes obviously kind of somewhat accepted defeat a couple of weeks ago, which was surprising. Sometimes your emotions get the better of you. Emma Hayes is one of the best coaches in the world.

"Manchester City have had the best year I think they've had since Gareth Taylor has been there, taking over from Nick Cushing.

"It's going to go down to the wire. Personally, I still think Chelsea might do it."

With Sanderson predicting City to miss out on the WSL title, Sanderson feels Taylor's job should have come under more threat than it has.

"I've said many times that Gareth Taylor, I think hasn't come under as much pressure as he probably should have," Sanderson said. 

"I think if he was in the men's game it would have been interesting because they've not qualified for the Champions League, they've been knocked out of preliminary rounds and those types of things."

However, Sanderson also gave Taylor credit for his persistence in what has occasionally been a challenging tenure.

"It's been interesting, but fair play to Gareth Taylor because he's persevered," Sanderson added. 

"They've had loads of players over the years, you know Carli Lloyd, Rose Lavelle, the list could go on and it just hasn't really worked out, not due to those players, but sometimes you must find the right balance. I think finally, they found the right balance."

Chelsea go top of the Women's Super League table after edging to a 1-0 victory over Tottenham on Wednesday.

Maika Hamano scored the winning goal in the 37th minute, tapping in from the goal-line after meeting Guro Reiten's whipped cross.

The Japan international almost opened the scoring before that, sending a diving header over the bar.

Ashleigh Neville scuffed Spurs' best chance over the bar from close range just after half-time, but the Blues regained their control to see out a vital victory.

Data Debrief: In their hands

Chelsea are on course to lift their fifth consecutive WSL after securing back-to-back wins against Bristol City and Spurs, scoring nine goals without reply.

Spurs' hangover from their FA Cup defeat may have carried over here, but they were up against a Chelsea side that have only failed to score in one of their 21 league games this seaosn.

Emma Hayes is determined to enjoy the thrill of a title race going to the wire in her final days as Chelsea boss.

Following their defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League, Chelsea's hopes of winning a trophy to mark Hayes' final season in charge looked slim heading into the run-in of the WSL season.

Yet Manchester City's defeat to Arsenal, combined with an 8-0 victory for Chelsea over Bristol City last time out, has left the Blues in with a great chance.

With the goal difference having swung in Chelsea's favour, victory over Tottenham on Wednesday would see Hayes' team go into the final day of the WSL season in top spot.

And while the pressure is on, Hayes is eager to have fun as she soaks in her final matches of a 12-year tenure.

"I'm going to enjoy being in this position," Hayes said.

"You don't often get into a position where you are competing for a title going into the last two games of a season. For those of us who have won titles, we know how hard it is.

"I’m happy to be in the position we're in. I know we have two tough games but I'm looking forward to them.

"You can't win everything all of the time. But to be in a position to compete for our fifth title in five years, I'd like to see another team do that over the next five years. The reason I say that is nobody really understands how hard that is to keep winning.

"To be in a position to compete for that, that’s all I wanted the team to be in. I just want them to enjoy the next two games."

Tottenham have lost all eight of their WSL games against Chelsea by an aggregate score of 20-5, with the Blues the only team Spurs have never won at least a point against in the competition. 

Chelsea, meanwhile, have lost three games in the WSL this season, their most since also recording three defeats during the 2016 campaign.

After facing Spurs, Chelsea round off their season with a trip to FA Cup winners Manchester United, while City take on Aston Villa in their final game.

Emma Hayes is determined to enjoy the thrill of a title race going to the wire in her final days as Chelsea boss.

Following their defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League, Chelsea's hopes of winning a trophy to mark Hayes' final season in charge looked slim heading into the run-in of the WSL season.

Yet Manchester City's defeat to Arsenal, combined with an 8-0 victory for Chelsea over Bristol City last time out, has left the Blues in with a great chance.

With the goal difference having swung in Chelsea's favour, victory over Tottenham on Wednesday would see Hayes' team go into the final day of the WSL season in top spot.

And while the pressure is on, Hayes is eager to have fun as she soaks in her final matches of a 12-year tenure.

"I'm going to enjoy being in this position," Hayes said.

"You don't often get into a position where you are competing for a title going into the last two games of a season. For those of us who have won titles, we know how hard it is.

"I’m happy to be in the position we're in. I know we have two tough games but I'm looking forward to them.

"You can't win everything all of the time. But to be in a position to compete for our fifth title in five years, I'd like to see another team do that over the next five years. The reason I say that is nobody really understands how hard that is to keep winning.

"To be in a position to compete for that, that’s all I wanted the team to be in. I just want them to enjoy the next two games."

Tottenham have lost all eight of their WSL games against Chelsea by an aggregate score of 20-5, with the Blues the only team Spurs have never won at least a point against in the competition. 

Chelsea, meanwhile, have lost three games in the WSL this season, their most since also recording three defeats during the 2016 campaign.

After facing Spurs, Chelsea round off their season with a trip to FA Cup winners Manchester United, while City take on Aston Villa in their final game.

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