Sam Kerr made an instant impact on debut as Chelsea came from behind to beat Reading 3-1 to maintain their Barclays FA Women’s Super League title push.
Kerr, the all-time top scorer in the American National Women's Soccer League and Australian W-League, assisted Beth England’s opener, was involved in Guro Reiten’s second and was fouled by Reading’s goalkeeper Grace Moloney, who was sent off.
Fara Williams had opened the scoring for Reading before Kerr stole the show, while Erin Cuthbert sealed the win for unbeaten Chelsea with fifteen minutes to go.
Chelsea started strongly, Australian international Kerr getting in behind twice in the opening ten minutes, only to blaze over and then be denied by Sophie Howard’s tackle.
But Reading took the lead in the 15th minute, as Chelsea failed to clear their lines and Williams rifled in from the edge of the box.
Moments later, Reading were down to ten as Moloney came charging out to tackle Kerr and fouled her, drawing the red card.
Substitute goalkeeper Rachael Laws was forced into top saves to deny England and Kerr and Ji fired wide as Chelsea took control of the game.
And the equaliser they deserved came five minutes before half-time, as Kerr’s delightful back-heel freed England, who rounded Laws to slot home.
Chelsea should have scored in the 57th minute as Reading were forced into multiple goal-line clearances, and Millie Bright’s header was clawed out by Laws.
Kerr broke in on goal in the 64th minute, her shot was saved and Reiten volleyed the rebound superbly into the corner from range.
Cuthbert then followed in after England’s point-blank header was saved to secure the points. Millie Farrow had a great chance for Reading but was denied by Ann-Katrin Berger.
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