Chelsea won the Women’s Super League for a fourth successive season as they cruised to a final-day victory against Reading and consigned the home side to relegation.
Emma Hayes’ side travelled to Select Car Leasing Stadium knowing victory would confirm them as champions and complete a league and cup Double.
Their only challengers were Manchester United, who won 1-0 at Liverpool but finished two points behind in the table.
It was a comfortable victory for the Blues and it was fitting that Sam Kerr and Guro Reiten delivered the goals after their performances this season played such a key role in Chelsea’s success.
The two combined for the early opener as Reiten’s cross was headed in by Kerr, before the Norwegian midfielder slotted past goalkeeper Grace Moloney to make it 2-0 before half-time.
Kerr confirmed victory in the closing stages when she raced through on goal and poked in the rebound after her initial shot was saved.
The Royals’ eight-year stay in the top tier came to an end, but they have defied the odds for several seasons, competing with teams affiliated to Premier League clubs and on much larger budgets.
They could not manage it again this time around, though their fans stayed to applaud warmly after staff and players fell to their knees in disappointment at the full-time whistle.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have shown their grip on the WSL has not loosened despite increasing competition.
This title is perhaps their most impressive given they have had to fight off those challengers while dealing with injury setbacks and illness to manager Hayes.
Their dominance on English women’s football remains strong, and a fourth league crown in a row is clearly a significant achievement.
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