Chelsea FC are champions of the 2022-23 FA Women's Super League after a triumphant 3-0 win against Reading on Saturday. Once again the season came down to the final match day with first-place Chelsea and second-place Manchester United just two points apart in the standings. Sam Kerr and Guro Reiten, as they so frequently do, carried the day for Chelsea, scoring goals in the title-winning victory for Emma Hayes' side.
Manchester United kept themselves in contention for a shot at the championship after picking up a dramatic 2-1 win against rivals Manchester City last weekend and closed out their current campaign defeating Liverpool 1-0 on Saturday with a goal by Lucia Garcia. It's a step forward from their fourth place finish last year, but catching Chelsea proved to be too difficult a task.
Chelsea's fourth-consecutive title
Hayes and her squad saved their best football down the stretch of the season. The club now claims the double for a fifth time with Hayes previously winning the FA Cup on May 14 against Manchester United. This season was a more difficult task than the past few and the team showed relentless fight, facing various setbacks with injuries to several starting caliber players. Pernille Harder, Jesse Flemming, Millie Bright, and Kadeisha Buchanan were unavailable throughout various phases of the season. Fran Kirby, maybe the squad's most important creator, was on and off the pitch before being sidelined completely with a knee injury.
The various challenges meant different players featured over the course of the season. Lauren James electrified audiences with her attacking prowess and Guro Reiten led the team with 11 assists. The ever-dynamic Sam Kerr showed once again that she isn't just a valued striker, but arguably the most complete footballer in the world after being asked to adapt and adjust in light of the rotating injuries and still put up 10 goals this year. It felt appropriate that she scored the opening and closing goal of the title-winning match.
Manchester United battle till the end
Marc Skinner's side finish second behind Chelsea but can celebrate the improved year after finishing in fourth place last season. Lucia Garcia provided fire off the bench in two consecutive weeks scoring back-to-back game-winning goals as the Red Devils closed out a season filled with milestones for the club. They completed their first-ever second-place finish and first appearance in the FA Cup final. With the top-two finish, they have earned their place UEFA Women's Champions League for the first time, and have set themselves up for future success.
Chelsea will bid farewell to Pernille Harder and long-time captain Magdalena Eriksson. The duo are set to depart the club and join Bayern Munich next season. The club is rumored to welcome USWNT star Catarina Macario from Lyon pending a medical evaluation.
As the WSL concludes, several international players will set their sights on the upcoming 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The eighth edition of the World Cup will feature 32 nations for the first time. The tournament begins on July 20 as co-hosts New Zealand face Norway and Australia host Ireland.