Sam Kerr warmed up for next weekend’s FA Cup final with a first-half hat-trick as Chelsea beat managerless Birmingham City 5-0 in the English Women’s Super League.
That kept Chelsea one point behind the Arsenal side of Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord, who will meet them at Wembley on Sunday.
Kerr’s first goal came in the 17th minute when Canada’s Jessie Fleming sent her on target, Kerr hitting the ball into the corner the first time.
Her second was hit from close range after her attempted pass to Fran Kirby bounced off the Australia captain.
The third was a sharp header in the 43rd minute after a shot from Drew Spence was parried in her direction.
The treble brought her to 23 WSL goals in the calendar year. The second best is teammate Kirby with 19, followed by Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal with 13.
Because Kirby scored early, the defending champion was leading 3-0 within half an hour. The England striker added a fifth of Kerr’s pass in the second half as Birmingham, who sacked former Aberdeen striker Scott Booth midweek, fought hard to keep the score low.
At Leigh Sports Village, Catley started and Foord came off the bench as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0. Miedema and from the spot Katie McCabe scored.