Manchester United 1-6 Chelsea: Kirby scores 50th WSL goal in emphatic win

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As Manchester United's unbeaten start ended, Champions Chelsea made a statement of intent and ruthlessly ended it.

Fran Kirby scored her 50th Women's Super League goal in the opening two minutes.

Pernille Harter doubled the lead for Blues with a brilliant solo effort, before Sam Kerr scored a third.

United had hope after Alessia Russo's deflected strike, but Kerr Drew Spence, Jessie Fleming and Jessie Fleming gave Chelsea more goals.

After being stunned by Arsenal in the season opening, Chelsea skillfully managed this difficult away assignment using a devastating combination of aggressive pressing and precise passing.

United saw it as a reminder of what level they need to reach in order challenge Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City. They had started their campaign with impressive wins over Reading, Leicester, and Marc Skinner.

Chelsea almost scored a goal when United's Mary Earps failed to pass to Maria Thorisdottir. This allowed Sam Kerr to score from the box's edge.

Earps was able to prevent the Australian's low strike with a strong left-hand, but Kirby took advantage of a poor United mistake.

Hannah Blundell tried to play from the back but ran into problems and passed the ball to Kerr who then squared the ball for Kirby.

United was able to get by Chelsea's quick start but quickly found themselves on the mountain of defeat when Harder showed her speed and power to make it twice as easy.

The Dane, relying on Jackie Groenen's heavy touch, stormed up to the pitch and breezed past Thorisdottir before calmly lifting the ball over the Earps.

Pernille Harter's brilliant solo strike doubled Chelsea’s lead after just 24 minutes

Kerr almost scored a third brilliantly five minutes before the break, after Kirby teed her up. But her first attempt whistled off to the wrong side Earps' right post.

However, United captain Hannah Zelem gave possession at the goal-kick. Kirby then found Kerr and Chelsea took a three-goal lead.

At the break, United boss Skinner introduced Russo. The England forward was immediately at work. He grabbed Ella Toone’s pass and beat Chelsea keeper AnnKatrin Berger with a strong deflection from Millie Bright. Russo made a stunning display by hitting the crossbar with an impressive rasping drive.

Three minutes after Russo's goal, the home team's hopes of a comeback were dashed. Kerr scored for the second time. However, the striker seemed to have misjudged Kirby's cross before she converted it at the second attempt.

Spence and Fleming struck both late, as Emma Hayes' replacements added gloss to the scoreline and capped a dominating display by the champions.