Chelsea 4 Manchester United Women 2
Manchester United Women were beaten 4-2 by WSL champions Chelsea on the final day of the 2021/22 campaign, as we finished in fourth position in the table.
Having taken the lead early on through Martha Thomas, only to concede Erin Cuthbert's equaliser, the Reds went 2-1 up for half-time when Ella Toone restored our advantage in the 25th minute.
Chelsea's Sam Kerr then drew the game level as the second half began, before Guro Reiten and Kerr once more ensured Emma Hayes' side claimed the title for a third consecutive season.
Marc Skinner's side ended the campaign just outside the Champions League places, as Manchester City finished in third position, following their 4-0 win over Reading.
With the game's opening stages presenting a very cagey feel, United took the lead after just 13 minutes as Thomas headed home Katie Zelem’s wonderful set-piece delivery.
Toone was cynically fouled inside the Chelsea half, as Thomas rose the highest to nod Skinner’s side in front.
But just five minutes later, the hosts were level as Cuthbert found space inside the Reds' area to coolly fire home the game’s equaliser.
The Reds then regained the lead with 25 minutes gone, as Leah Galton’s deep cross from the left found Toone, who volleyed home.
As the first half’s action continued, WSL top scorer Kerr threatened to level the scores once more, with Mary Earps called into action for the first time.
After Hayes made a double change heading into the second half, Chelsea instantly hit back within a mere 47 seconds of the restart.
The Reds failed to clear Beth England’s initial strike, with the ball falling to Kerr who rifled home the game’s leveller.
And within five minutes, the scoreline had successfully been flipped, as Guro Reiten netted the hosts' third goal of the afternoon.
A lovely move involving the Norwegian and her Danish team-mate Pernille Harder left the goal gaping and Earps was beaten once more.
With just under an hour gone, Groenen almost made it 3-3 when her cross from the right evaded Ann-Katrin Berger in the Chelsea goal but struck the crossbar before rolling out of play.
Toone was providing an ever-present threat for Skinner’s side, as United looked to come forward and cause a potential problem for the home side.
However, Kerr notched her second goal of the afternoon, and 30th of the season, in spectacular fashion. The Australian international volleyed a sumptuous effort from long range over Earps and into the net, to increase Chelsea’s lead to 4-2.
That's how the game ended, as the hosts were crowned WSL champions, with the Reds ending the season in fourth position.
Reds wrap up the seasonGallery
United's final WSL game in 2021/22 ended with a gallant defeat to the champions Chelsea.
Chelsea: Berger; Carter, Bright, Eriksson; Charles (Nouwen, 58), Cuthbert, Ingle (England, 46), Andersson (Ji, 46); Harder (Fleming, 77), Reiten; Kerr (Spence, 90+2).
Subs not used: Musovic, Mjelde, James, Abdullina.
Goals: Cuthbert 18, Kerr 46, 66, Reiten 51.
United: Earps; Batlle, Ladd, Thorisdottir, Blundell; Zelem (c), Groenen (Bruun, 81); Galton (Hanson, 64), Toone, Thomas (Boe Risa, 76); Russo.
Subs not used: Baggaley, Harris, Moore, F.Fuso, Caldwell, Smith.
Goals: Thomas 13, Toone 25.