"Sam's goals came at the right moments to put us ahead." - Emma Hayes after Birmingham win
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Emma Hayes applauded Chelsea's professional performance after thrashing Birmingham City 6-0 to edge closer to a second consecutive Women's Super League title.

In-form Sam Kerr completed a first-half hat-trick as Chelsea outclassed struggling Birmingham City 6-0 at Kingsmeadow.

The Blues had to wait until the 25th minute to break the deadlock, when Erin Cuthbert struck an angled drive that forced Hannah Hampton to produce a save only for Kerr to convert the rebound with a close-range effort.

On the stroke of half-time Chelsea doubled their lead through Australia international Kerr, who reacted quickly to bundle a header past Hampton.

Pernille Harder's header struck the post but Chelsea claimed their third goal after Cuthbert whipped a wonderful cross that found Kerr, whose header at the far post completed her hat-trick.

There was no let-up from Emma Hayes' side after the break and they netted a fourth after some great build-up play between Niamh Charles and Bethany England on the right found Fran Kirby, who slotted the ball into the net in the 61st minute.

Kirby then turned provider and executed a low cross to find Guro Reiten, who converted to give Chelsea their fifth goal of the game.

Chelsea added their sixth goal late on through England star Kirby, who did brilliantly to burst into the box and strike a curling effort past Hampton.

  • Emma Hayes’ thoughts

Sam Kerr completed a first-half hat-trick before a brace from Fran Kirby and a goal from Guro Reiten extended their winning run to six games.

"It was a performance that the whole squad equally contributed, which everybody had to be in the same level,'' Hayes said.

"This was the first game this season that I thought no matter who I put in, there wasn't going to be a drop in standards. These games can be tricky if we don't get the first goal early enough. Sam Kerr's goals came at the right moments to put us ahead.

 "The confidence and intelligence from her is growing each week and is thoroughly deserving of a hat-trick. For us to win the title, we have to win every game which is always a challenge considering our schedule, so we will fight right till the end.''

  • Carla Wards’ thoughts

Birmingham City head coach Carla Ward praised her opponents after they proved too strong for her struggling side.

They remain winless in their last 11 league games since beating Aston Villa 1-0 back in November. Bottom side Villa are just three points adrift of Ward's side.

Ward said: "I thought for 44 minutes we did extremely well. To concede two goals before half-time, it was awful timing - a lapse in concentration and utterly disappointed to go three goals down before half-time.

"These sorts of games won't define our season but hugely disappointed as we have not been beaten by six goals all season.

"It wasn't a sort of game that we probably targeted any points. It would have been a bonus if we did, so the last three home games, we've got to target points and it will be important for us to survive in this league."

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