Kerr at the double, Matildas shine in WSL

Sam Kerr has ended another landmark week with a familiar double strike in Chelsea’s 6-1 hammering of Manchester United, spearheading a trio of goalscoring Matildas in the Women’s Super League.

Kerr ended a landmark week on Sunday by doubling her season’s tally before Emily Gielnik struck her first goal for Aston Villa, a winner in the 1-0 victory at Brighton, and Tameka Yallop earned rave reviews with a brace on her debut for West Ham in their 4-0 thrashing of Leicester.

The experienced trio had all suffered a flat night in midweek with Kerr’s 100th international cap ending with the captain failing to hit the target while the Matildas slumped to a 3-2 defeat to the Republic of Ireland.

Yet Kerr, last season’s WSL golden boot winner, quickly put the disappointment behind her as she struck either side of halftime and assisted on another early goal in the champions’ handsome win at United’s Leigh Sports Village home.

It was Kerr’s second brace in consecutive league matches after she scored twice in the 4-0 win over Everton at Kingsmeadow, and she’s joint-top of the scoring charts with Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema on four.

Once again, it was Kerr’s deadly strike partnership with England international Fran Kirby that lay at the heart of Chelsea’s win, with the duo linking up for three goals.

The pair combined after just a couple of minutes when United gave the ball away at the back, allowing Kerr to slip Kirby in for a simple tap-in, her 50th WSL goal.

After Pernille Harder’s dazzling 24th minute solo effort, which ended with the Dane dinking a delicate finish after a run from the halfway line, it was Kirby who found Kerr for another easy finish in the 40th minute after another generous giveaway from United’s defence.

The home side pulled one back through substitute Alessia Russo in the 48th minute but Kerr struck again almost immediately, bundling home Kirby’s cross from the right at the second attempt, despite replays later showing that she was clearly offside.

There is no VAR in the WSL.

After Kerr was brought off was six minutes left, Chelsea still weren’t finished as substitutes Drew Pence and Jessie Fleming grabbed a goal each to leave both sides on six points from their opening three games.

The 29-year-old Gielnik, who was snapped up by Villa for her second spell in the English game after a season with Liverpool in 2012-13, struck soon after halftime at Brighton for her first goal since signing from Swedish club Vittsjo GIK at the start of the month.

It sent Villa third in the league, a point ahead of Chelsea and two behind pacesetters Arsenal, who beat Manchester City 5-0, and Spurs, who were 1-0 winners over Reading.

The experienced Yallop needed just 21 minutes of her Hammers’ debut to slot home an accomplished first goal for the club against promoted Leicester and the former Brisbane Roar ace also added their fourth goal in the second half, heading Yui Hasegawa’s cross in off the underside of the bar.

It left Hammers’ boss Olli Harder enthusing: “She (Yallop) was someone I really wanted to bring to the football club. A midfielder with a nose for goal is always helpful, so very pleased with her performance today, and hopefully that continues.”

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