Australian internationals Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr have, not for the first time this season, illuminated the Women’s Super League with match-winning performances for their London clubs.
Foord, back to her best in Arsenal’s starting line-up after recent knee problems, scored twice in the space of three first-half minutes to set the Gunners on the way to a 4-0 triumph at Birmingham on Sunday.
Then it was her Matildas’ captain Kerr who again took centre stage for Chelsea, heading home a thumping early opening goal and creating the second in the Blues’ 2-0 win at West Ham which keeps them top of the WSL table.
The pair have been prolific this season with Foord taking her tally for the campaign to nine while Kerr now has 12 league goals this term, a total only bettered by Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema who scored her 14th in the Gunners’ win.
But it was Foord who took the plaudits from Arsenal’s Australian coach Joe Montemurro after he watched her scramble in her first goal just before the break and then tap home Beth Mead’s cross at the far post for a second in quick succession.
“Since she has been here I have been singing her praises and she was a player we targeted and wanted in my first couple of years here,” said Montemurro.
“She’s an amazing person, firstly, and the contribution she makes, away from the ball as much as anything, her ability to find room and to take players away is really important for her teammates.
“She’s been great and she’s getting her rewards and finding her rhythm again.”
Champions Chelsea later marched on confidently, Kerr setting them on their way at West Ham by heading home Beth England’s cross in the seventh minute and then repaying the compliment early in the second half by delivering a pinpoint cross for England to nod in.
It left manager Emma Hayes saying: “I was happy for Beth and Sam in terms of their contributions to each other’s goals. It was a really professional performance, Sam’s early goal really helped the team.”
Kerr was brought off with just over 20 minutes left, with Hayes perhaps saving her for Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg match against Atletico Madrid.
Another Australian international Emily van Egmond came as close as anyone on the spirited West Ham team to pulling one back but her goal-bound shot was blocked in the area.
Chelsea are now two points clear of Manchester City, who needed a fine shot from Keira Walsh to beat Hayley Raso’s Everton 1-0.