Soccer-Kerr at the double as Chelsea rout United, Spurs go top of WSL

Soccer Football - Women's Super League - Manchester United v Chelsea - Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, Britain - September 26, 2021 Chelsea's Sam Kerr celebrates scoring their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

LEIGH, England (Reuters) -Forward Sam Kerr netted a brace and Fran Kirby scored her 50th Women's Super League (WSL) goal as champions Chelsea swept aside a sorry Manchester United 6-1 on Sunday and Tottenham Hotspur made it three wins out of three to go top of the league.

Chelsea got off to a flying start when Kerr made the most of some shoddy defending from United in the second minute to play in Kirby who tapped in from close range. Pernille Harder doubled their advantage with a fine solo run and dink in the 24th minute.

The visitors piled more misery on United four minutes before the interval as Kerr and Kirby reversed roles for the Australian international to stab home a third.

United improved after the break and pulled one back through substitute Alessia Russo in the 48th minute but Chelsea restored their three-goal lead almost immediately when Kerr drove home a cross from the right. Replays, however, suggested the 28-year-old may have been lucky not to be flagged for offside.

Substitutes Drew Pence and Jessie Fleming grabbed a goal each before full time, leaving both sides on six points from their opening three games.

In Sunday's later kickoffs, Jessica Naz sent Spurs to the top of the table when she got the only goal of the game in the 85th minute to secure a 1-0 win over Reading.

Emily Gielnik scored just after halftime as Aston Villa beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 and Tameka Yallop scored a brace on her debut as West Ham thrashed newcomers Leicester City 4-0.

On Saturday, Everton got their first win of the campaign by beating Birmingham City 3-1.

Tottenham top the table on nine points from three games, with Aston Villa second on seven and Chelsea third on six. Arsenal can go first if they beat Manchester City later on Sunday.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru and Philip O'Connor in Stockholm; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Clare Fallon)

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