Sam Kerr scored four goals in a brilliant performance as Chelsea thrashed West Ham to advance to their fourth straight Continental League Cup final.
After just 22 minutes, the Women’s Super League leaders—who also happened to be the cup winners in 2020 and 2021—were up 3-0, thanks to two goals from Kerr and one from Fran Kirby.
Each goal was made possible by errors made by West Ham, and their kindness continued as Kerr received her third goal thanks to Hawa Cissoko’s slip.
After Lauren James scored her fifth goal, Kerr scored her fourth unimpeded before Guro Reiten scored the Blues’ seventh goal with a deflected shot.
The Blues will take on Arsenal for the trophy at Selhurst Park on March 5 after being defeated by Manchester City in last season’s final.
The only thing that caused anxiety for Emma Hayes’ team was Kirby’s injury in the first half.
The League Cup semifinal’s best performances and reactions
Chelsea has won seven of the nine main domestic titles available in the previous three seasons.
If everything goes according to plan, that might increase to 10 from 12 by the conclusion of 2022–23 with the Blues leading the WSL, moving on to the FA Cup fifth round, and now advancing to a fourth League Cup final. In this shape, few would wager against them.
The Blues were quicker on and off the ball and far smarter in their movement and passing from the outset, clearly demonstrating the difference in class between themselves and the Hammers.
And Hayes’ squad has Kerr, who is possibly the game’s most merciless finisher for women.
By holding championship rivals Arsenal to a scoreless draw over the weekend, West Ham helped Chelsea. Hayes praised the team’s outstanding and tenacious back line.
She probably did not anticipate the help the Hammers gave her team on Thursday, when sloppy passes, defensive miscues, and a friendly high defensive line allowed the Blues to run amok.
Reiten’s free kick gave Kerr the opportunity to score the opening goal, and Kirby had plenty of room to run clear for the second. Goals three and four were the result of sloppy defending.
West Ham’s spirit was crushed, and their prospect of reaching their first League Cup final was gone. Kerr and company picked them off with ease after the half.
Although it was understandable for Hammers manager Paul Konchesky to start the same lineup as against Arsenal, the decision’s logic now that the team had just put in such a demanding physical effort four days prior should be questioned.
Because West Ham’s opponents had them on the back foot so solidly, they were never able to make a major turn toward the future.
A poor effort from Kate Longhurst after Chelsea had improperly cleared a ball into the area was the closest they came to scoring what would have just been a consolation.
After the break, they must get ready for another knockout match, this time against Aston Villa in the FA Cup’s fifth round.
A tantalizing dress rehearsal for the League Cup final against Arsenal, Chelsea will enter their own FA Cup match with a 20-game unbeaten streak across all competitions.