Home » Leicester 0-4 Chelsea: Catarina Macario scored on return as Chelsea moved to the top of the WSL

Leicester 0-4 Chelsea: Catarina Macario scored on return as Chelsea moved to the top of the WSL

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Leicester 0-4 Chelsea: Catarina Macario scored on return as Chelsea moved to the top of the WSL

Substitute Macario was playing in her first game since rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament on 1 June 2022

Catarina Macario scored on her Chelsea debut as she returned after 20 months out with injury to help the Blues beat Leicester 4-0 and return to the top of the Women’s Super League.

The American, 24, signed for Chelsea in July while still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury picked up playing for Lyon in 2022.

Mayra Ramirez also scored her first WSL goal as she followed up Nathalie Bjorn’s opener with a superb solo effort.

Johanna Rytting Kaneryd made it three for Emma Hayes’ side before substitute Macario fired past Lize Kop.

Chelsea’s bid for a fifth straight WSL trophy suffered a blow last month when they were defeated by City, their closest title rivals.

They were briefly displaced at the top of the table by City’s 2-1 win over Everton on Saturday.

However, the win against Leicester moves Chelsea level on points with Gareth Taylor’s side, but the Blues sit top thanks to a better goal difference.

Both teams will get to test their title-winning credentials against each other again when they meet in the semi-finals of the Continental League Cup on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Leicester remain seventh in the table with 16 points.

Macario scores after 641 days out injured

Guro Reiten came close to putting the visitors ahead after just 30 seconds, but she could not get the ball out of her feet to poke in from close range.

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Despite Chelsea’s fast start, it was Leicester who dominated the opening half-hour and patiently built up possession with Jutta Rantala providing the main threat up front.

Leicester’s period of dominance came to sudden end, however, when Bjorn broke the deadlock, making the most of Leicester’s failure to clear a corner as she hooked the ball backwards and sent it over Kop and Josie Green on the goalline.

Ramirez also latched on a Leicester defensive error, pick-pocketing Julie Thibaud on halfway line before driving forward and effortlessly rounding Kop to slot home Chelsea’s second.

The Colombia forward became the most expensive women’s player in British history when Chelsea signed her from Levante for an initial 450,000 euros (£384,000) in January.

Leicester continued to push forward in search of a goal, but were caught out in the middle of the park again when Jelena Cankovic found Rytting Kaneryd in acres of space and the Sweden international’s strike deflected off Janice Cayman and in.

But it was the fourth and final goal that grabbed the headlines with Macario marking both her Chelsea debut and return from injury with a composed finish.

Line-ups

Leicester City Women

Formation 4-1-4-1

23Kop

4Bott14Green17Thibaud11Cayman

15 Takarada

8Rantala3Tierney29Momiki2Nevin

10Whelan

23Kop4Bott14GreenSubstituted forHowardat 55’minutes17Thibaud11CaymanSubstituted forBakerat 66’minutes15Takarada8RantalaSubstituted forDraperat 85’minutes3Tierney29MomikiBooked at 80minsSubstituted forPelganderat 85’minutes2Nevin10WhelanSubstituted forPetermannat 66’minutesSubstitutes5Howard6Palmer9Petermann12Ale18Pelgander19Siemsen32Baker49Draper59Dowsett

Chelsea Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

24Hampton

15Périsset7Carter39Björn21Charles

22Cuthbert6Nüsken

19Rytting Kaneryd28Cankovic11Reiten

35 Ramírez

24Hampton15Périsset7Carter39Björn21Charles22CuthbertSubstituted forIngleat 45’minutes6NüskenSubstituted forKirbyat 73’minutes19Rytting KanerydSubstituted forHamanoat 79’minutes28Cankovic11ReitenSubstituted forBeever-Jonesat 73’minutes35RamírezSubstituted forMacárioat 72’minutesSubstitutes1Musovic5Ingle8Leupolz9Macário14Kirby23Hamano30Berger33Beever-Jones

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City Women 0, Chelsea Women 4.

Second Half ends, Leicester City Women 0, Chelsea Women 4.

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Corner, Chelsea Women. Conceded by Julie Thibaud.

Attempt saved. Maika Hamano (Chelsea Women) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Maika Hamano (Chelsea Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Catarina Macário.

Foul by Jelena Cankovic (Chelsea Women).

Julie Thibaud (Leicester City Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Leicester City Women. Denny Draper replaces Jutta Rantala.

Substitution, Leicester City Women. Emilia Pelgander replaces Nicole Momiki.

Nicole Momiki (Leicester City Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Maika Hamano (Chelsea Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nicole Momiki (Leicester City Women).

Substitution, Chelsea Women. Maika Hamano replaces Johanna Rytting Kaneryd.

Goal! Leicester City Women 0, Chelsea Women 4. Catarina Macário (Chelsea Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Agnes Beever-Jones.

Substitution, Chelsea Women. Agnes Beever-Jones replaces Guro Reiten.

Substitution, Chelsea Women. Fran Kirby replaces Sjoeke Nüsken.

Substitution, Chelsea Women. Catarina Macário replaces Mayra Ramírez.

Sophie Howard (Leicester City Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mayra Ramírez (Chelsea Women).

Attempt missed. Guro Reiten (Chelsea Women) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left.

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