Kerr hat-trick leads Chelsea to crucial Champions League win

Sam Kerr scored a clinical hat-trick as Chelsea beat Paris FC 4-1 to register their first win of the Champions League group stages this season.

The Australian’s first goal came in the 31st minute, tapping the ball in at the back post after a teasing delivery from the in-form Lauren James on the left hand side.

She netted her second just after half time in what was a carbon copy of her first goal, this time created from the other side of the pitch.

Johanna Rytting Kaneryd played the ball across from the right hand side for Kerr to finish clinically again at the back post in the 48th minute.

Kerr sealed her hat-trick with a glorious chip from the edge of the box, looping the ball over the scrambling Chiamaka Nnadozie in the 55th minute.

After recovering from a calf injury, Kerr has slowly been building up to full fitness which is something that Chelsea manager Emma Hayes is wary of.

Hayes said: “She needed the run of games…but you have to be mindful – the last thing you need is fatigue and the calf getting tight so it’s all about carefully managing her loads.

“If that’s her at 80% [fit] I’ll take that, I can’t wait for the 100% version to come.”

Kerr could have scored a fourth too, but was unable to properly connect with the ball that had been beautifully played through to her by Fran Kirby.

Sophie Ingle added a fourth in the 91st minute, volleying home from an Eve Perisset corner.

Paris FC had levelled the game up in the 38th minute against the run of play as Thea Greboval scored a looping header from a corner delivered by captain Gaetane Thiney.

The victory gave Chelsea a much-needed three points after the disappointment of drawing with Real Madrid last week in a match that was overshadowed by controversial refereeing decisions.

Hayes was proud of her team’s tactical flexibility, but once again bemoaned the tight schedule that Chelsea are currently experiencing.

“I think the games accumulation caught up on us tonight. I don’t think people really realise how hard it is to keep doing it, so I thought it was a performance where we dug something out.”

The game was Chelsea’s fourth in the past 11 days.

In the other group D match tonight, Hacken shocked Real Madrid to claim their second consecutive victory, meaning Chelsea sit behind them in second place with four points.

The Blues will face the Swedish side in their next two games in the competition, knowing that two victories would take them to the top of the group.

Hayes’ side next face Leicester at Kingsmeadow on Sunday, and return to Champions League action against Hacken on December 14.

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