Chelsea retained their Continental Cup title as they comfortably defeated Bristol City at Vicarage Road

Reigning Women’s Super League champion’s Chelsea beat Bristol City comfortably in the Continental Cup final to retain their title for another season.

The Vixens had come into the game in a good vein of form, but the first half looked to have already decided the result with two goals from Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby giving the Blues a four-goal lead.

Two more goals in the second half confirmed the result for Emma Hayes’ side who also withstood a fair bit of pressure from City in the second half.

The six-goal margin makes it the largest win in the history of the Women’s League Cup and their eighth major title under coach Hayes.

Chelsea took an early lead through Sam Kerr who latched onto a cross goal pass from Fran Kirby, turning in with ease at the back post after only two minutes.

It didn’t take long for Chelsea and Kerr to double their advantage, once again being played through by Kerr before striking under Sophie Baggaley in the Vixen’s net.

Matt Beard’s side carried some attacking threat with Charlie Wellings striking a cross into the box but was unable to find any teammates in the box with Ann-Katrin Berger easily claiming.

Just before the 30-minute mark Fran Kirby scored a third for Emma Hayes’ team, taking advantage of Baggaley being off her line to score from long range.

Ella Mastrantonio once again tried to pull City into the contest, striking on target but England international Millie Bright blocked the shot before it could trouble the goal.

But Kirby only made things worse for the Reds, scoring her second as she managed to cut inside from the left and her low shot couldn’t be kept out despite Baggley’s best efforts.

A break in play finally came to City’s aid with Sophie Ingle needing treatment and before the half-time break Baggley made a smart save with her outstretched leg to prevent Kirby from having a first-half hattrick.

After the break Hayes made three changes and Beard made one, bringing on Abi Harrison but it didn’t have the desired effect with Kerr getting her hattrick only three minutes into the half.

It was another comfortable finish for the Australian striker as the Blues broke away and Kirby passed across for Kerr to tap in with complete ease.

Only seven minutes later Guro Reiten made it 6-0, once again assisted by Kirby as she passed for the Norwegian midfielder to stroke in from six yards out.

The Robins could’ve been further behind if it wasn’t for an impressive Baggaley stop and a penalty call waved away despite Kirby’s frustrations.

Red’s striker Ebony Salmon nearly got one back Beard’s side, but Berger saved her powerful effort, with Hayes then substituting Kerr and Kirby after incredible displays.

City had a couple of attempts that could’ve led to a goal, substitute Aimee Palmer nearly scored with a near post-header, but it was easily saved by Berger.

Maren Mjede went down in the 75th minute with a nasty looking knee injury after an unmalicious Palmer tackle, but the defender had to be stretchered off and was taken to hospital.

But that was all the action with Chelsea winning their second Women’s League Cup with a clean sheet despite a late flurry from the relegation battling Vixens.

featured image credit sky sports