Harder inspires Chelsea win in Hayes’ absence


Chelsea won in the absence of boss Emma Hayes as Pernille Harder marked her first club appearance of the season with two goals at Everton.

Long-serving Hayes is taking time away from the game to recover from an emergency hysterectomy.

A header by Denmark midfielder Harder put Chelsea on course for a third straight Women’s Super League win.Kadeisha Buchanan’s own goal made it 1-1 before Harder scored a penalty and Niamh Charles sealed the points.

The penalty was awarded after Everton keeper Courtney Brosnan fouled Guro Reiten in front of a record crowd of 1,668 at Walton Hall Park.

Lauren James and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd also hit the bar for Chelsea, who were without forward Fran Kirby because of illness.

Chelsea’s players warmed-up in tops with the message ‘Get Well Soon Emma’ on the back of themChelsea’s players warmed-up for the game in tops with the message “Get Well Soon Emma”

The win lifted Chelsea to second in the table, level on points with leaders Manchester United, who defeated Brighton 4-0 earlier on Sunday.

Arsenal will move above Chelsea if they win at Reading in the late game (18:45 BST).

Everton, who had beaten Leicester and Liverpool in their previous two league games, are fifth in the table.

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