Chelsea cruise past Bristol City to extend WSL lead

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BRISTOL, England (Reuters) - England striker Fran Kirby scored twice as Chelsea thumped bottom side Bristol City 5-0 on Sunday to extend their lead over Manchester City at the top of the Women's Super League.

Thrashed 9-0 the last time the two sides met in the league September, Bristol were on the back foot from the off but it took until the 14th minute for Kirby to put the Chelsea ahead with a glancing header from Maren Mjelde's corner.

Danish attacking midfielder Pernille Harder made it two with her seventh league goal of the season in the 36th minute and Kirby added a third four minutes later to send Chelsea into the break 3-0 up.

Australian striker Sam Kerr headed home eight minutes into the second half and Bethany England scored on the hour mark to complete the rout.

In the day's other game, Nicoline Soerensen headed home Ingrid Moe Wold's cross 13 minutes from time to cancel out Abbey-Leigh Stringer's first-half strike as Everton came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Reading.

Chelsea top the table on 38 points after 15 games, five ahead of Manchester City, who have a game in hand. Manchester United are third on 32 points while Arsenal, whose game away to Aston Villa was called off due to a frozen pitch, are fourth on 23.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor, editing by Pritha Sarkar)