Emma Hayes left ‘mentally drained’ after Chelsea clinch third successive title

The Blues finished a point clear of runners-up Arsenal.

By Press Association Published: 8 May 2022 - 5.00pm

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes was left feeling “mentally drained” after her “amazing” team battled back to clinch a third consecutive Barclays Women’s Super League title.

The Blues twice came from behind to beat Manchester United 4-2 and hold off the challenge of second-placed Arsenal.

Goals from Erin Cuthbert and Guro Reiten, either side of a pair of stunning volleys from Sam Kerr, did the damage at a sold-out Kingsmeadow.

“First half I thought we played with fear; second half we played to win and I have to credit the whole dressing room for switching that mentality because we knew we had something to lose,” Hayes told her club’s website

“Once we play like we had something to win, that was the difference.

“We’re 2-1 down at home, packed house, everyone’s thinking, ‘oh no, you can’t lose the title at home’ and then we go and do that second half, we’re just amazing.”

Chelsea will look to complete the double in next Sunday’s FA Cup final against Manchester City.

Emma Hayes lifted more silverware with Chelsea
Emma Hayes lifted more silverware with Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

“I’m absolutely mentally drained right now,” added Hayes. “I will just go home, have a cup of tea as usual and get ready for tomorrow.”

Arsenal knew they could snatch the title on the final day, if they bettered Chelsea’s result.

It looked within their reach when their rivals twice trailed the Red Devils, first following Martha Thomas’ header and again when Ella Toone volleyed home after Cuthbert briefly levelled.

But the Blues roared back in the second period. Kerr equalised and later gave her side breathing space with another fine strike following Reiten’s close-range finish.

Goalscorer Cuthbert said: “I feel like it’s the best one (title success) yet. The league’s getting tighter, more competitive, we’ve won it on the last day.

“Probably everyone was watching thinking we were down and out but never write off this team.

“We’ve got a top mentality, a top manager – what a day for the football club.”

Jonas Eidevall’s Gunners did everything they could, securing a 2-0 win away to West Ham thanks to second-half goals from Stina Blackstenius and Vivianne Miedema, but it proved to be in vain.

Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema in action against West Ham on Sunday
Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema in action against West Ham on Sunday (John Walton/PA)

Miedema’s future with the Gunners is uncertain, with the Dutch star out of contract this summer.

Manchester City clinched the third Champions League berth with a 4-0 victory over Reading.

At kick-off they knew that if they lost and local rivals Manchester United won they would be pipped for third place, but City were comfortable by half-time after goals from Lauren Hemp and Khadija Shaw.

An 85th-minute goal from Ellen White and an added-time penalty from Alex Greenwood made the result safe, and means City head into the cup final in fine form.

Khadija Shaw (right) celebrates her goal
Khadija Shaw (right) celebrates her goal (David Davies/PA)

Tottenham consolidated fifth place with a 1-0 win over Leicester thanks to Ashleigh Neville’s goal early in the second half, while Brighton and Everton drew 1-1.

Nathalie Bjorn’s penalty in stoppage time gave the Toffees a half-time lead but it lasted just seven minutes after the restart when Aileen Whelan pulled Albion level.

Relegated Birmingham ended the season on a high with a 1-0 win over rivals Aston Villa.

Greek forward Veatriki Sarri netted the only goal in the 10th minute.

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