Lucky 13 for Chelsea

Emma Hayes admits Chelsea’s 13-0 victory over London Bees surprised even herself as they marched into the FA WSL Continental Cup semi-final in style.

Chelsea hosted the Bees safe in the knowledge that a victory would guarantee them a spot in the final four of the competition.

And that was never in doubt as a hat-trick from Rachel Williams, plus two goals apiece for Drew Spence, Jackie Groenen and Ji So Yun, added to strikes from debutant Ana Marques Borges, Emma Wilhelmsson and Laura Coombs, secured an emphatic win.

And while Hayes fully expected to see her side advance, the way in which they did left her flabbergasted.

“We were expected to win this game so it isn’t a surprise to us that we won, but I think the margin that we defeated them by was probably a little bit surprising,” she said.

“But that was the challenge I put forward. I wanted to see a performance that would not only put us into the semi-final, but put players in contention to be in the starting line-up to play against Arsenal [in the league] next week. So I’ve got plenty of headaches ahead of that.

“I’m very happy with the result. Scoring goals is always hard to come by, but to score 13 and in the fashion we produced that quality in front of goal is really pleasing.”

Chelsea finished top of Group One but Arsenal were not to be left out, also marching on as runners-up as they followed up their midweek 7-0 victory against London Bees by beating Millwall Lionesses 4-0 at Beckenham Town.

Manchester City advanced as Group Two winners, leapfrogging Liverpool with a 3-0 win at Durham thanks to goals from Krystle Johnston, Toni Duggan and Jill Scott, leaving Manchester City manager Nick Cushing toasting a job well done.

“I’m happy with the outcome. I thought we could have created a few more clear-cut chances, but overall I’m very happy,” Cushing said.

Manchester City striker Toni Duggan

Manchester City striker Toni Duggan was on target against Durham

“We spoke a lot about taking control of the games and our intensity. We started a little sloppy but once we settled down and started playing we took control.

“The teams left in the competition are all very strong. There are no weak teams so whoever we play we will have to prepare and work hard to get into the final.”

Everton signed off from Group Two with 2-0 victory at Sunderland, while Birmingham City boss David Parker was left seething after his side ended their Group Three campaign with a 5-0 defeat by Bristol Academy.

“I think it was the [lack of] application that did us. It was disgraceful. That’s not what this football club is about and not what we have been brought up to do,” said Parker.

“Our players haven’t put in a performance and have let the club down. I don’t expect that from our players, we just haven’t shown the heart and commitment what this club is about but we will see that on Wednesday night for sure.

“We as a club haven’t been up to standard. We have rotated the team around but it should never have been the scoreline like that, we have the best squad in this league and it should never have come down to this.”