Women’s Super League results: Chelsea edge Tottenham at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal hang on against West Ham, Liverpool beaten by Reading

8 Sep

Bethany England’s stunning fourth-minute strike sealed victory for Chelsea over London rivals Tottenham in the Women’s Super League in front of just under 25,000 fans at Stamford Bridge.

England’s early long-distance shot was enough for the Blues to secure a 1-0 win in a match they dominated for long periods in their first game of the season.

England netted a stunner at Stamford Bridge
Getty Images - Getty

Spurs goalkeeper Becky Spencer kept her side in the game in the first half, making two good saves to deny Hannah Blundell and Guro Reiten.

Tottenham started to come back into the contest and came close to scoring the equaliser with their best chance of the match just four minutes after the restart when debutant Rachel Furness hit a low shot but Ann-Katrin Berger managed to dive low and make the save.

Chelsea hit the woodwork twice in the 58th minute, as Drew Spence hit a powerful strike onto the crossbar, before Reiten’s follow-up header hit the post.

The attendance figures did not break the 31,213 at the Etihad Stadium for the Manchester derby on Saturday, but dwarfed the previous season’s record of 5,265 at Brighton last season.

Elsewhere, Arsenal held on for a 2-1 victory over West Ham to begin their title defence with a win.

Beth Mead and Jill Roord’s goals were enough despite Martha Thomas’ strike for the visitors.

Chelsea got off to the perfect start at Stamford Bridge
Getty Images - Getty

WSL results

Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham

Birmingham 0-1 Everton

Liverpool 0-1 Reading

Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

Women’s Super League 2019/20 preview: What you need to know including teams, fixtures, transfers and odds

5 Sep

After a successful Women’s World Cup this summer, the domestic season in England gets back under way this weekend.

Twelve teams will fight it out to call themselves Women’s Super League champions, with Arsenal looking to defend their title.

Can Arsenal retain their crown this season?
Getty Images - GETTY

But the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, who had dominated the competition in recent seasons, will be determined to get back on top.

This season will welcome Manchester United to the top flight – a club that made a return in March 2018 following a 13-year absence and they will open their campaign with a trip to their local rivals.

The game is growing all the time, with the FA announcing the Barclays WSL will be broadcast overseas for the first time in its history earlier this summer.

And below you can read talkSPORT.com’s ultimate guide to the 2019/20 WSL season.



Joe Montemurro

One to watch

Vivianne Miedema (striker)

Miedema scored three goals at the World Cup and was the WSL’s top scorer last season
Getty Images

Who have they signed?

Jen Beattie (defender, Manchester City)

Leonie Maier (defender, Bayern Munich)

Jill Roord (midfielder, Bayern Munich)

Fran Stenson (goalkeeper, Manchester City)

Manuela Zinsberger (goalkeeper, Bayern Munich)

First five games

West Ham (H), Manchester United (A), Brighton (H), Chelsea (A), Manchester City (H)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“There is a lot we can improve on this year though and I think that we will definitely have to get stronger because the teams in the league are getting stronger.

“We also have the Champions League to deal with too and more games so it will be important that we continue to get better if we want to be successful again this season.” – Kim Little, Arsenal midfielder

Birmingham City


Marta Tejedor

One to watch

Lucy Staniforth (midfielder)

Staniforth played for England at this summer’s World Cup

Who have they signed?

Abbi Grant (forward, Anderlecht)

Rebecca Holloway (midfielder, Nashville Rhythm)

Adrienne Jordan (defender, Atalanta)

Brianna Visalli (midfielder, West Ham)

Claudia Walker (midfielder, Everton, after initial loan deal)

Lucy Whipp (attacking midfielder, St John’s University)

First five games

Everton (H), West Ham (A), Reading (H), Manchester City (A), Liverpool (H)



Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“Obviously we had a good season last season, finishing fourth. So to go above and beyond that is the aim really. You don’t want to take steps backwards. There are obviously some great teams in the league, but I think we can compete with anyone on our day. We will take
every game as it comes and look to get as many wins as we can.” – Lucy Whipp, Birmingham midfielder

Brighton & Hove Albion


Hope Powell

Ex-England boss Powell has been in charge of Brighton since July 2017

One to watch

Ellie Brazil (forward)

Who have they signed?

Lea La Garrec (midfielder, Guingamp)

Danique Kerkdijk (defender, Bristol City)

Matilde Skovsen (defender, Aarhus)

Megan Walsh (goalkeeper, Yeovil Town)

First five games

Bristol City (A), Chelsea (H), Arsenal (A), West Ham (H), Everton (A)

Title Odds


Predicted finish

12th (relegation)

What are they saying?

“I think last year was a learning curve, especially with the restructuring of the division but this year, I think everyone is more ready and excited to play.

“We will be going into most games as the underdog, but I think that is so exciting. We know we have nothing to lose. I think we could do very well this year.” – Megan Connolly, Brighton midfielder

Bristol City


Tanya Oxtoby

Oxtoby and Bristol City will be hoping to build on their sixth-placed finish last season
Getty Images - Getty

One to watch

Sophie Baggaley (goalkeeper)

Who have they signed?

Olivia Chance (midfielder, Everton)

Yana Daniels (forward, Liverpool)

Jasmine Matthews (defender, Liverpool)

Ebony Salmon (striker, Manchester United)

Meaghen Sargeant (defender, Birmingham City)

Vita van der Linden (midfielder, Ajax)

Charlie Wellings (striker, Birmingham City)

First five games

Brighton (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (H), Liverpool (A), Tottenham (H)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“Everyone always wants to win something each season and it feels like everyone here has got high hopes after last season went so well.

“It’s going to be such a competitive league this time around and it’s going to be so close between all the clubs.” – Charlie Wellings, Bristol City striker



Emma Hayes

One to watch

Fran Kirby (forward)

England international Kirby is arguably Chelsea’s most gifted player
Getty Images

Who have they signed?

Guro Reiten (forward, LSK Kvinner)

First five games

Tottenham (H), Brighton (A), Bristol City (A), Arsenal (H), West Ham (A)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“We had a look at ourselves after last season and I think Emma and her coaches decided that actually we could be improving off the pitch as well as on it.

“After the summer I had to look at myself in the mirror and regroup a little bit because the World Cup hurt me a little bit – I needed to get over that.” – Erin Cuthbert, Chelsea midfielder



Willie Kirk

One to watch

Kika van Es (defender)

Everton avoided relegation to the Championship after Yeovil received a ten-point deduction for going into administration
Getty Images - Getty

Who have they signed?

Maeva Clemaron (midfielder, FC Fleury)

Lucy Graham (midfielder, Bristol City)

Tinja-Riikka Korpela (goalkeeper, Valerenga)

Esme Morgan (defender, Manchester City)

Kika van Es (defender, Ajax)

Molly Pike (midfielder, Chelsea)

First five games

Birmingham (A), Bristol City (H), Manchester City (H), Reading (A), Brighton (H)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“I think things can only get better from last season – obviously we didn’t finish anywhere near where we wanted to or achieve what we wanted to.

“We just want to get on the ball and play more than we have recently – a lot of our games we’ve just been defending but now we’re going to go out and show we can actually play.” – Gabby George, Everton defender



Vicky Jepson

One to watch

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (forward)

Sweetman-Kirk scored ten goals for Liverpool last season
Getty Images - Getty

Who have they signed?

Jade Bailey (midfielder, Chelsea)

Becky Jane (defender, Reading)

Mel Lawley (winger, Manchester City)

First five games

Reading (H), Tottenham (A), Manchester United (A), Bristol City (H), Birmingham (A)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“I think we’ve built a really solid foundation, so we want to finish higher in the league, do as well as we can and play a good style of football and know what we’re about.

“Each game is different so we’re just going to take it one game at a time – no game is a given at all but to be able to try and get a good run and start the season well would be massive for this team.” – Niamh Charles, Liverpool winger

Manchester City


Nick Cushing

One to watch

Ellen White (striker)

White finished joint-top scorer at the World Cup alongside USA’s Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe

Who have they signed?

Laura Coombs (midfielder, Liverpool)

Matilde Fidalgo (defender, Braga)

Lee Geum-min (forward, Gyeongju KHNP)

Aoife Mannion (defender, Birmingham City)

Tyler Toland (midfielder, Sion Swifts)

Ellen White (striker, Birmingham City)

First five games

Manchester United (H), Reading (A), Everton (A), Birmingham (H), Arsenal (A)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“I am a winner so I want to win every game – we won the titles last season but of course everyone wants more and we know that we we’re close to winning the league as well last year.

“We lost too many points to teams below us in the table and did well against Arsenal and Chelsea so that is something we need to work on this season for sure.” – Tessa Wullaert, Manchester City forward

Manchester United


Casey Stoney

Stoney’s side could cause a few upsets this season

One to watch

Jackie Groenen (midfielder)

Who have they signed?

Mary Earps (goalkeeper, Wolfsburg)

Jackie Groenen (midfielder, Frankfurt)

Hayley Ladd (midfielder, Birmingham City)

Abbie McManus (defender, Manchester City)

Lotta Okvist (defender, Hammarby)

Jane Ross (striker, West Ham)

First five games

Manchester City (A), Arsenal (H), Liverpool (H), Tottenham (A), Reading (H)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“I think there’s something really special going on here and it can be a huge club – not just in men’s football, but in women’s football in years to come. So I’m excited to be a part of that.

“If people are expecting a lot of us it means they think we’re capable of a lot. We just need to go out there, express ourselves and show what we can do.” – Mary Earps, Manchester United goalkeeper



Kelly Chambers

One to watch

Jade Moore (defender)

Defender Moore represented England at the World Cup
Getty Images

Who have they signed?

Maxime Bennink (midfielder, PEC Zwolle)

Kristine Bjordal Leine (defender, Roa IL)

Amalie Eikeland (midfielder, IL Sandviken)

Angharad James (midfielder, Everton)

First five games

Liverpool (A), Manchester City (H), Birmingham (A), Everton (H), Manchester United (A)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“I am excited for the start of season and to see the players bring everything together they have learned and gained and to really be a force to compete with in the WSL.

“We have obviously added some fantastic players to the group we had last season to improve us as a squad, but I believe this group have added and gained so much during pre-season that will make us stronger than last year.” – Kelly Chambers, Reading manager

Tottenham Hotspur


Karen Hills and Juan Amoros

One to watch

Coral-Jade Haines

Tottenham came up from the Championship with Manchester United last season
Getty Images - Getty

Who have they signed?

Rosella Ayane (forward, Bristol City)

Gemma Davison (midfielder, Reading)

Hannah Godfrey (defender, University of South Alabama)

Kit Graham (forward, Charlton)

Chloe Peplow (midfielder, Brighton)

Ria Percival (defender, West Ham)

Lucy Quinn (forward, Birmingham City)

Becky Spencer (goalkeeper, West Ham)

Siri Worm (defender, Everton)

First five games

Chelsea (A), Liverpool (H), West Ham (A), Manchester United (H), Bristol City (A)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“We’ll go out there and give it our all, we’ve got high standards at this club and we want to make our fans proud.” – Gemma Davison, Tottenham forward

West Ham United


Matt Beard

One to watch

Kenza Dali (midfielder)

Sam Allardyce slams 'disgusting' West Ham leak and reveals unhappiness with Jack Sullivan conduct
The managing director of West Ham’s Women’s team is Jack Sullivan, son of West Ham co-owner David Sullivan

Who have they signed?

Katharina Baunach (defender, Wolfsburg)

Courtney Brosnan (goalkeeper, Le Havre)

Kenza Dali (midfielder, Dijon)

Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (forward, Perth Glory)

Cecilie Kvamme (defender, IL Sandviken)

Laura Vetterlein (defender, SC Sand)

Martha Thomas (forward, Le Havre)

First five games

Arsenal (A), Birmingham (H), Tottenham (H), Brighton (A), Chelsea (H)

Title Odds


Predicted finish


What are they saying?

“We just have to be ruthless and learn to be clinical. We want to challenge at the right end of the table and, to do that, we have to take our chances and keep clean-sheets. We want to be a team that prides ourselves on being hard to break down.” – Gilly Flaherty, West Ham defender

Chelsea Women 1-1 Lyon Feminin (2-3 agg): Blues rue first leg mistakes as Lyon reach fourth-straight Champions League final

28 Apr

So-Yun Ji fired a fine free-kick home but Chelsea could not overcome Lyon as a 1-1 draw proved enough for the reigning champions to reach their fourth consecutive Women’s Champions League final.

South Korea midfielder Ji whipped home a smart finish to hand Chelsea hope, in Sunday’s semi-final second leg at AFC Wimbledon’s Kingsmeadow.

Erin Cuthbert couldn’t hide her despair at the final whistle

But Lyon edged through 3-2 on aggregate, courtesy of Eugenie Le Sommer’s well-worked finish laid on by inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.

Emma Hayes’ Chelsea side battled to the death against the much-vaunted Lyon outfit, who now face Barcelona in a bid for their fourth Champions League crown in succession.

Chelsea’s defeat means they cannot qualify for next term’s Champions League either as they were unable to force their way to a top-two finish in the Women’s Super League.

French giants Lyon though power on, bidding to add yet another European title after claiming a 13th-consecutive domestic league crown in midweek.

Eugenie Le Sommer netted for Lyon

Lyon dominated from the start, boasting the sharper passing and more proficient play patterns.

So when Hegerberg fed Le Sommer for her fellow forward to drill home, there were precious few surprised observers in New Malden.

Hegerberg’s neat turn merited the acclaim of an assist, but Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger will have been frustrated to see the ball creep under her body after a slight deflection off Maren Mjelde.

Chelsea had spoken about hounding Lyon off their stride but needed the jolt of slipping behind to remember that pre-match mission.

So-Yun Ji equalised on the day, but not on aggregate

Erin Cuthbert won a free-kick on the edge of Lyon’s area, and that allowed Chelsea to strike from their sole genuine raid of the first half.

Ji whipped the free-kick into the net with zero fuss, to drag Chelsea back into the tie.

Ramona Bachmann and Lyon goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi were both booked for tussling over retrieving the ball from the net.

Hegerberg turned a cross the wrong side of the post as Lyon pressed again, but the teams turned around locked at 1-1.

Chelsea couldn’t bring the tie level

Chelsea forced their way onto the front foot after the break, Bachmann seeing a low effort blocked by Amel Majri.

Captain Karen Carney curled a rasping effort against the post, before Millie Bright forced a point-blank save from Bouhaddi.

Hegerberg drew a full-stretch save from Berger, headed wide and then blasted past the near post as Lyon pressed again.

But Chelsea replacement Drew Spence blew the best chance of the half, side-footing wide at the far post after a free-kick.

Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes believes it is ‘only a matter of time’ before there is a female coach in the men’s game

26 Apr

Emma Hayes believes it is only a matter of time before we see a woman coaching in men’s football in England.

The Chelsea Women manager was asked about when we should expect to see a female referee take charge of a Premier League game in her press conference ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Lyon.

Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes

It was announced on Thursday that Stephanie Frappart would become the first woman to referee a Ligue 1 match when the official takes charge of Amiens vs Strasbourg on Sunday.

Frappart will not be the first woman to take charge of a match in a top European league, though.

Germany’s Bibiana Steinhaus refereed a match in the Bundesliga between Hertha Berlin and Werder Bremen.

England, Spain and Italy are still waiting for a female to take charge of a top-flight match.

Hayes said: “I can say that Sian Massey is the best lineswoman and linesperson by a country mile.

“I think she’s outstanding every time I watch her.

“I don’t think it will be long at all (before a woman referees a Premier League game). I think it is only a matter of time.

“As much as it is a matter of time before there is a female coach in the men’s game.”

FA Women’s Cup semi-final results: Manchester City seal victory over holders Chelsea, West Ham beat Reading on penalties

14 Apr

Manchester City booked their spot in the Women’s FA Cup final after Magdalena Eriksson’s unfortunate own goal in added time saw them clinch a 1-0 win over holders Chelsea.

The tie looked to be heading towards extra-time between two sides who have met four times in this competition in the last five years, before City set up a Wembley date against West Ham next month in unlikely fashion.

Man City knocked out Chelsea to reach the final

Under no pressure, Eriksson inadvertently turned Demi Stokes’ cross past Blues goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger in the second minute of injury time at City’s Academy Stadium.

Reading Women 1-1 West Ham (West Ham Women win 4-3 on penalties)

The Hammers had earlier sealed a spot in the final for the first time after a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Reading at Adams Park following a 1-1 draw.

Rachel Furness’ header four minutes after the interval was cancelled out by Alisha Lehmann just before the hour, but Fara Williams then saw her spot-kick for the Royals hit a post.

West Ham sealed a victory against Reading on penaltiies

With no goals in extra-time, the shootout went to sudden death as Lauren Bruton and Rakel Honnudottir missed for Reading, and Brianna Visalli and Kate Longhurst did the same for West Ham.

Jade Moore then saw her spot-kick saved by Anna Moorhouse, allowing Cho So-hyun to win it for the Hammers.

Emma Hayes praises PSG ultras for stunning atmosphere as Chelsea book place in Champions League semi-finals

28 Mar

Chelsea Women coach Emma Hayes praised the Paris Saint-Germain ultras for creating a stunning atmosphere as the Blues booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals with a dramatic aggregate win at the Stade Jean Bouin.

Chelsea headed into the match two goals to the good, but the hosts netted twice to wipe out their advantage.

But PSG suffered their second European exit in a month after their men’s side were knocked out the Champions League by Manchester United, with Maren Mjelde grabbing a late, late winner for Hayes’ side.

Both PSG’s men’s and women’s teams have been knocked out the Champions League this month

The west Londoners came through the match by the tightest of margins, and Hayes has admitted she was disappointed with how her players performed.

“I was a little disappointed with my team in terms of how we managed the game and I had to work hard as a coach to keep us in the game at times,” she said.

Hayes has guided Chelsea to two successive Champions League semi-finals

“But I have a united group and a spirited group that fight their way through adversity and we held on through many difficult moments to stay in the game.

“I felt during the last five minutes that we wanted a winner – I could sense it in them, so when Karen Carney dropped it in that space I knew there was only going to be one outcome.”


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Chelsea’s poor performance may be, in part, explained by the enthusiastic five-figure crowd at the Stade Jean Bouin.

Incidents at the first leg tie in London last week led to fears of potential crowd trouble at Wednesday’s match, but the PSG fans’ – many of whom were ultras – means of supporting their team were entirely legal.

Reports of potential crowd trouble proved inaccurate

And Hayes had nothing but praise for those who came to watch their side in action.

“I loved it,” she added. “I was humming the songs as the game went on.

“It adds to the sport when we’re playing in front of crowds like that and I can only encourage and congratulate PSG for that because it certainly gave them a home advantage.”

Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Chelsea: Maren Mjelde strikes late to send Blues into the Champions League semi-finals

27 Mar

A late strike from Maren Mjelde stunned Paris-Saint Germain and earned Chelsea Ladies a dramtic win in Paris to send them into the Champions League semi-finals.

The French outfit clawed back a 2-0 aggregate deficit in the second-half thanks to a Kadidiatou Danni strike and an Ann-Katrin Berger own goal with 30 minutes to play.

But Mjelde’s tidy finish at the death following a superb cross from Karen Carney provided Chelsea with the crucial away goal.

Chelsea will now play holders Lyon in the next round of the competition.

It was a closely fought affair in Paris

More to follow…

Paris Saint-Germain offer ‘full support’ to fans after weapons found on coach ahead of Chelsea Women clash

22 Mar

Paris Saint-Germain have given their ‘full support’ to fans who travelled to Thursday’s Champions League clash against Chelsea Women, after weapons, fireworks and drugs were found on board a supporters’ coach.

A coach carrying about 50 PSG supporters who had travelled to London from France overnight was turned away from the Kingsmeadow ground ahead of the quarter-final first leg.

The PSG supporters waited outside Kingsmeadow despite being sent home

The Metropolitan Police said ‘knives and knuckledusters’ were recovered while one man was arrested for possession of class A drugs.

There were also reports of vandalism at the stadium during Thursday morning, as well as disorder later on at Waterloo and Wimbledon stations. Chelsea won the first leg 2-0.

Despite the widely-reported incidents, PSG issued a club statement on Friday morning criticising the handling of the situation and claiming no damage had been caused at the stadium by their fans.

“We repeat that the local authorities have not provided any evidence of wrongdoing, at least no fact available justifies such a ban to attend the match,” the PSG club statement read.

“All of our supporters have been searched, and if any of these searches or facts had been under criminal law, we can imagine that the concerned supporter(s) would not have been able to leave British territory without being disturbed.

“Surprisingly, we note that Chelsea, on the morning of the match, did not want the presence of our supporters, arguing of alleged damage to the stadium which is, according to local testimonies, prior to the arrival of our fans in London.


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“We express our fullest support to fans of Paris St Germain who, in the middle of the week, had arranged their schedule to come to support our women’s team and we count on their fervour during the return match next Wednesday in Paris.”

The fans were met by a strong police presence ahead of Thursday’s match

Following Thursday’s match, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes hoped the incident will not discourage the club’s supporters from travelling to France.

Chelsea are understood to be looking to issue travel advice to Blues supporters ahead of the second leg, which will take place at Stade Jean-Bouin on March 27, to make sure their fans’ experience in Paris is the safest it can be.

A club spokesman said: “We keep security matters under continual review.”

Chelsea ‘should swap Maurizio Sarri for Women’s team boss Emma Hayes’, say talkSPORT hosts Paul Hawksbee and Andy Jacobs

19 Feb

Chelsea have been told to complete a ground-breaking manager swap, trading under-fire Maurizio Sarri for Chelsea Women’s team boss Emma Hayes.

talkSPORT host Andy Jacobs launched into his latest anti-Sarri rant on Tuesday after the Blues were knocked out of the FA Cup fifth round by Manchester United.

Passionate Chelsea fan Jacobs, like many of the supporters at Stamford Bridge, has called for a change at the top after yet another dismal performance against one of their top rivals.

Chelsea look on as Paul Pogba scored Manchester United’s second goal at Stamford Bridge

Jacobs accused Sarri of making Chelsea ‘like a relegation team’ due to their lack of confidence and said he is baffled the Italian doesn’t appear to know how to fix his side’s problems despite them appearing blindingly obvious.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Hawksbee and Jacobs show, the fuming talkSPORT host said: “After every game Chelsea lose, the pundits will say the other manager has really sussed out how to play against Chelsea, but it’s not that difficult is it? It’s really, really easy to stop Chelsea, as you can see.

“As soon as the goal goes in, Chelsea are like a relegation team, they’ve got no confidence. They just collapse and they know the manager will do nothing to change it.

Is time up for Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea?

“This bloke, Sarri, just keeps doing the same thing. It’s the Einstein theory of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different. It’s never going to be different.

“It’s quite hard to speak about this fella on air without swearing or being abusive, because he is absolutely hopeless in my view.

“For starters, if any manager in the universe came into Chelsea, the first thing they would do is play Kante in their proper position.”

But Jacobs and fellow host Paul Hawksbee believe they have found the solution to Chelsea’s woes – Emma Hayes.

The experienced London-born coach has led Chelsea Women to two league and cup doubles since she took over in 2012, and they are firmly in the hunt for another Women’s Super League title this season.

Hayes and her Chelsea team celebrate their 2018 Women’s FA Cup victory

“We’ve got a theory,” Paul Hawksbee added.

“Chelsea do have a very, very good manager, someone who manages people well and is very highly thought of already in their midst…”

Jacobs continued: “Yes, Emma Hayes. I rate her.

“I would do a job swap. Would Emma Hayes do a worse job than Sarri? She wouldn’t. She’d do a better job.”

Although Paul added: “It wouldn’t be fair on the women’s team, though, would it.”

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri blasts ‘disgusting’ social media abuse of England women’s midfielder Karen Carney

19 Oct

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has become the latest figure to condemn the social media abuse directed towards Karen Carney.

Carney, the Chelsea Women midfielder, has already been supported by England Women manager Phil Neville and the Football Association after an Instagram post wished ‘cancer, leukaemia and rape’ upon her.

Carner receive the abuse while playing for Chelsea Women against Fiorentina

The FA on Thursday called on the police and social media companies to help shut down online abuse after the threats.

Sarri, asked about the issue at his weekly media conference on Friday, said: “It’s not acceptable. It’s disgusting.”

The 59-year-old admitted that he is not familiar with the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms.

But he praised Carney’s footballing ability after her decisive penalty in Chelsea’s Women’s Champions League win over Fiorentina on Wednesday night.

Sarri added: “I watched the last match against Fiorentina. She’s a very good midfielder, I think. She scored.”

It was Neville who highlighted the abuse 133-cap international Carney had received, sharing the abusive Instagram post.

He shared a further post on Friday directed towards an unnamed England Women international, which included a rape threat and a follow-up message suggesting it was “headline” grabbing.

Neville wrote on Thursday: “A message sent to one of my @lionesses players last night, absolutely disgraceful”. He went on to ask Instagram: “Are you going to do something about it?”

Instagram Photo

He added on Friday: “Another disgraceful awful despicable message sent to one of my @lionesses – @instagram can you do a better job at protecting my players who use your social media platform!!”

The FA is backing Neville and has demanded action.

“We are appalled and dismayed by the abuse directed towards Karen Carney on social media,” the FA said in a statement on Thursday.

Carney has represented England 133 times and has also turned out for Arsenal and Birmingham at club level

“The FA takes such matters extremely seriously and we are offering our full support to Karen. The abuse of players on social networking sites is a serious concern and we call on the police and social media organisations to do everything they can to help tackle this growing problem

“We provide all our senior England players with training, guidance and support on the use of social media and treat our duty of care in this regard with the utmost importance.”

Instagram removed the account responsible for the first messages as the company does not “tolerate threatening or abusive behaviour”.