Chelsea pip Man City to Women’s Super League title after 5-0 win over Reading

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Emma Hayes was quick to shift the focus of her back-to-back title winners on to next weekend’s Champions League final against Barcelona: “I said to the players when they got their medals: ’Do you like winning? Well do it again next week’,” she said after a 5-0 defeat of Reading sealed the championship.

Related: Fran Kirby’s double helps Chelsea beat Reading to secure WSL title

As Chelsea were clinched the league with a dominant win at Kingsmeadow, the players of next Sunday’s opponents Barcelona crouched around a phone to watch Levante drop two points and confirm them as La Liga champions.

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“I understand how amazing Barcelona are, but so are we,” said Hayes. “It is a collaborative effort at Chelsea to get us here. We have cultivated something. We have a culture here to be the best – there is no complacency.” Having won the title on the basis of points-per-game last year as the Covid-19 pandemic curtailed the season, Hayes was keen to emphasise how important it was to prove they could win the league without an asterisk attached. It shows they are “consistent as champions” she said.

“In some people’s eyes we didn’t really win it, we were given it on a points-per-game scenario,” she said. “To say, actually, we are the champions, that’s a validation of that. I’m happy about that, because you don’t really want that hanging over you – the players really wanted to demonstrate that.” The 44-year-old pointed to the team’s single defeat, a 2-1 loss to Brighton, as a critical moment in the campaign and one that fuelled their title charge. “The whole season, we’ve lost one game,” she said. “I’m glad we lost that game, we’re never too good to lose and I think it just keeps you on the edge of performance all the time. My team have shown so many sides again and again and again. Great strength in depth. Today it’s another brilliant result.

Related: Chelsea clinch WSL title on final day – as it happened

No doubt it’s my favourite title today.” Before she thinks about Barcelona Hayes is keen to get home to son Harry.

Pos

Team

P

GD

Pts

1

Chelsea Women

22

59

57

2

Man City Women

22

52

55

3

Arsenal Women

22

48

48

4

Man Utd Women

22

24

47

5

Everton Women

22

9

32

6

Brighton & Hove Albion Women

22

-20

27

7

Reading Women

22

-16

24

8

Tottenham Hotspur Women

22

-23

20

9

West Ham Women

22

-18

15

10

Birmingham City Women

22

-29

15

11

Aston Villa Women

22

-32

15

12

Bristol City Women

22

-54

12

“I woke up this morning feeling so bad at how little I’d seen my little boy, because of what I had to do here, and the last words he said to me when I walked out the door were: ‘Mummy, bring a medal home for me today, so that’s what I’m doing,” she said. “I’ll probably have something to eat with the team next door and I’m going to go home and spend much-valued time with my child, because he’s not going to see much of Mummy this week because she’s going to be away three nights from Friday, so quality time when it matters.”