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.

Despite having her impressive run of form cut short due to injury, Jamaica International and Manchester City striker Khadija Shaw did enough prior to the season-ending surgery, and so it comes as no surprise that she is up for the coveted Barclays Women's Super League Player of the Season award.

Shaw, who recently copped the Football Writers' Association (FWA) Women's Footballer of the Year award, is no stranger to accolades, as she was named 2022-23 Player of the Season for Manchester City, and also pocketed a couple Player of the Month prizes since joining the club in 2021.

In fact, it is Shaw's impressive goalscoring exploit that not only propelled her to being the club's all-time leading striker, but also places City at the summit of the WSL standing, heading into their final assignment away to Aston Villa on Saturday May 18. However, their hope of clinching the title remains on edge, as they have played a game more than second-placed Chelsea.

Both Shaw and goalkeeper Khiara Keating, who has also been nominated for Barclays Women’s Super League Player of the Season award, have impressively helped Gareth Taylor’s side relentlessly pursue a second-ever league title with a string of outstanding displays.

Shaw, 27, has scored 22 goals across 25 appearances in all competitions this term – with 21 of those coming in the WSL. She recently became the Club’s all-time leading scorer with 68 goals – which she has since extended to 72 before a foot injury prematurely ended her season.

Meanwhile, Keating has performed beyond her years in the 19-year-old’s breakthrough campaign for Taylor’s team – playing every league minute in 2023/24.

The England youth international has been an integral part of the best defensive record in the division with City conceding only 14 league goals so far this term. What’s more, outstanding is that Keating has maintained nine WSL clean sheets which is the most so far across the competition.

Shaw's unmatched scoring ability, and Keating's shot stopping exploit resulted in both being placed on the short list for prestigious annual honour, alongside Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Grace Clinton (Spurs), Lauren James (Chelsea), Jutta Rantala (Leicester), Elisabeth Terland (Brighton) and Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal).

Manchester City approached Sunday's Women's Super League fixtures with the title race firmly in their hands, their meeting with Arsenal giving them a chance to put one hand on the trophy.

City's chances of a first WSL title since 2016 had received a massive boost in midweek as rivals Chelsea suffered a stunning 4-3 defeat to Liverpool.

That result sent shockwaves through the league and left the Blues' hopes of a fifth straight WSL success hanging by a thread, so much so that boss Emma Hayes declared the title race to be over.

Chelsea entered the weekend six points behind City with a game in hand, with Gareth Taylor's team also leading the way on goal difference by seven goals and potentially needing just one win to take the title.

However, this rollercoaster of a season took yet another turn on a super Sunday for the ages.

The early kick-off

It was an emotional start to the day at the Joie Stadium, as City waved goodbye to club legend Steph Houghton ahead of their final home game of the season, giving her a guard of honour for a decade of service in sky blue. 

As expected, the game matched the electric atmosphere created by a record crowd of 5,409 fans, with both teams looking to get on the front foot in a high-octane start to the game.

Lauren Hemp proved once again why both Taylor and Sarina Wiegman put so much faith in her, receiving a lay-off from Leila Ouahabi and finding room to smash her shot into the corner 17 minutes in, leaving Manuela Zinsberger with no chance.

Hemp has now contributed to at least one goal in each of her last four WSL appearances (two goals, three assists), but she and her city team-mates would rue their missed opportunities after a dominant first half.

After the interval, Arsenal showed why they had been so close to Chelsea and City for much of this campaign.

Substitute Stina Blackstenius, having denied Chelsea their first opportunity of silverware in the League Cup final, was also the villain of City's story, poking home from close range after City failed to deal with a corner after 89 minutes.

The drama was not done there, though, with Blackstenius delivering an even bigger blow to City's title chances three minutes later. Kim Little floated her pass over the hosts' defence, and the Swede was totally unmarked as she headed home two minutes into stoppage time.

Arsenal have now scored eight goals via substitutes in the WSL this campaign, a tally only bettered by Manchester United (nine). The Gunners have also scored 14 goals in the final 15 minutes of games, with United (16) the only team with more in that period. 

City boss Taylor cut a disappointed figure after the game, telling BBC Sport: "I always said I thought it would go to the final game and it's never changed. We knew what we had to do.

"We will pick ourselves up. We've always reacted well to negative results. We wanted to be in control and we've lost a little bit of that, but we still have one more game.

"It's not easy. You've seen today how the momentum can be in your favour and quickly be taken from you.

"Chelsea opened the door the other night and we've opened it back again a little bit. It is what it is, but nothing has changed in our thought process."

Arsenal have now won 13 points from losing positions in the WSL this season, more than any other team. Jonas Eidevall's side just fell short of being involved in the title picture themselves, but their win on Sunday kept rivals Chelsea in with a realistic shot of glory.

"Those sorts of things, we can't really control," he told BBC Sport. "It just shows what we are as a team and that we never give up.

"We put in a really strong performance and now it's up to other teams to put in strong performances. It's not really any of my business who is going to win."

The late kick-off

Later on Sunday, it was Chelsea's turn to provide an emotional farewell, with Emma Hayes taking charge of her final game at Kingsmeadow as she prepares to take the United States job after 12 years with the Blues.

Hayes was welcomed to the field with rapturous applause, looking emotional as she held the hand of her son Harry, surveying the home crowd for the final time as Chelsea manager. Sunday's match also represented a home send-off for the club's leading goalscorer Fran Kirby and defender Maren Mjelde, both of whom will leave this summer.

Having suffered Champions League heartache and seen their title hopes dented in a week to forget, Hayes' team had nothing to lose against already-relegated Bristol City, and that is exactly how they played.

Hayes made six changes to her lineup and the tiredness that plagued Chelsea in midweek was gone, the Blues never looking back once they went ahead through Guro Reiten's sixth-minute penalty.

Sjoeke Nusken struck a scrappy second before the in-form Aggie Beever-Jones added a third shortly after the break. Reiten then added a fourth with a screamer from outside the area. 

Knowing the importance of goal difference after City's slip-up, Chelsea continued to throw players forward. Macario slid in Reiten to clinch her hat-trick from a tight angle, and after Niamh Charles had made it 6-0, the Norwegian added her fourth of the game with another rasping long-range strike.

Reiten then turned provider and crossed for Beever-Jones to head in Chelsea's eighth. Beever-Jones has now contributed to eight goals in her last five league games (six goals, two assists), stepping up after injuries deprived the Blues of key players.

Chelsea were clinical with their 20 shots, scoring eight goals in a WSL game for the first time since beating Leicester City by the same scoreline in December 2022 to put Wednesday's defeat firmly in the rearview mirror.

Now one better off than City on goal difference, Chelsea know a victory over Tottenham in their game in hand on Wednesday will take them top ahead of the final set of fixtures on Saturday.  

Hayes addressed the home faithful at Kingsmeadow with her players watching on after the game, rowing back on her earlier claim that the title race was over.

"Let me be clear. It is not over," she declared. "There is no time for sentimentality. All work drinks are cancelled, there is a title to be won.

"You know what? That group of players taught me something so special this week; that you never ever give up. This is what it means to be Chelsea."

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hayes added: "We wanted to make sure it was a game to remember for the fans.

"That shows when you have belief. I said to the players that if Man City slip up, we had to be ready. Today was another opportunity to get closer to something that was slipping out of our grasp.

"If you told me at the beginning of the day Arsenal would beat City in the last five minutes and we would win 8-0, what are the odds of that? I'm super proud. Days like today are everything Chelsea represents."

The Opta Supercomputer still makes City favourites after a dramatic day, though, giving Taylor's team a 55.1 per cent chance of breaking Chelsea's dominance and spoiling Hayes' leaving party.

Chelsea and Lionesses star Fran Kirby will say goodbye to Chelsea at the end of the season.

The forward has enjoyed a nine-year spell at the club, scoring 115 goals in 209 appearances. 

Kirby will leave Chelsea as their all-time leading goalscorer over a period where she contributed to 15 trophies, including six Women’s Super League titles, five FA Cups and two League Cups. 

Chelsea will now be looking at a period of transition as manager Emma Hayes will also leave for the United States and the Blues will welcome Sonia Bompastor, who will embark on a new era at Stamford Bridge.

Kirby told the club website: "To leave with the trophies that I have won, with the team-mates I've played with – some of the world's best players – it has been one of the biggest privileges of my life.

"The support I've had has been unmatched. When I had my illness, my injuries, that's when I made some friends for life.

"I will never forget that no matter how bad I felt during those moments, I always felt loved and supported.

"Growing up I never thought I could impact it so much. So I'm really proud I have been able to impact positively and doing that for a club like Chelsea is something I'm really proud of.

"Hopefully, I leave the club in a better place than when I first came in. For me then, the job is done.

"To have been there from the beginning at Staines, playing in front of an amazing crowd there and now to Stamford Bridge. We're selling out the Bridge. It's been an incredible journey with all of you.

"Thank you for embracing me from day one. Helping me overcome some really difficult times and also sharing some amazing times with me. I will never forget how it felt to play in front of all of you.

"I hope I have left the club and the shirt in a place where you all can be proud of me."

Kirby became Chelsea's top scorer in December 2020 after scoring twice against Benfica in the Women's Champions League, overtaking Eni Aluko with her 69th and 70th goals for the club, five years after signing.

She also played an integral role in securing the domestic quadruple in the 2020-21 season, helping Chelsea become the first English women's club to achieve the feat.

The 70-cap England Women's international leaves behind a remarkable legacy, one befitting of her legendary status at Stamford Bridge.

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. 

Chelsea's hopes of a fifth straight Women's Super League title are hanging by a thread after a dramatic 4-3 defeat to Liverpool, with Gemma Bonner scoring a stoppage-time winner for the Reds.

Arriving at Prenton Park six points behind leaders Manchester City with two games in hand, Chelsea had no margin for error but finished on the wrong end of a remarkable contest.

The Blues started brightly and went ahead through Agnes Beever-Jones' header, with Catarina Macario being denied a second by a marginal offside call. However, Liverpool hit back early in the second half as Sophie Haug looped a header in from Marie-Therese Hobinger's corner.

Matt Beard's Reds went ahead for the first time when another Hobinger corner was flicked in by Bonner at the near post, though Chelsea made it 2-2 with 10 minutes to play as Beever-Jones rifled into an empty net after Niamh Charles drew Teagan Micah off her line.

Emma Hayes would have been expecting them to kick on from there, but Liverpool were back ahead within 59 seconds as Leanne Kiernan latched onto Ceri Holland's pass to slot home.

Chelsea drew level for a second time when Macario's shot deflected in off Micah, but they were caught with a sucker punch as they chased a winner, Bonner glancing yet another Hobinger corner home to leave Hayes needing a miracle to deliver a farewell title. 

Data Debrief: Hayes' hopes fading

Future United States boss Hayes was furious with the officials after Chelsea exited the Women's Champions League against Barcelona on Saturday, but a fast start to Wednesday's game would have given her hope of a response.

However, Chelsea let a chaotic game get away from them after the break, losing a league match in which they led at half-time for the first time since September 2022 – a 2-1 loss at Liverpool.

Having been eyeing a quadruple just a few weeks ago, Chelsea now need an incredible collapse from City if they are to retain their title – given the Citizens' superior goal difference, just one more win may get them over the line.   

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