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Chelsea send message after ‘sloppy’ start against Tottenham as Emma Hayes hails quality on show

Emma Hayes was thrilled Chelsea Women recovered from a poor start to get the better of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

Spurs started the better of the two sides but couldn’t capitalise and the Blues got themselves in front thanks to Melanie Leupolz’s long-range strike.

An own goal from Abbie McManus doubled Chelsea’s lead before Sam Kerr added a third and Leupolz scored from the spot to seal the 4-0 victory.

But the Chelsea boss recognised what wasn’t working in the opening stages of the match and made the necessary changes which saw them dominate the rest of the game.

“I think until the first goal, we were sloppy,” Hayes said. “We were slow, we played into their hands. I thought our decision making and composure struggled until the first goal.

“We made some adjustments just before that, and from there on in, I think we dominated. I think with so much experience, you have to be calm under pressure.

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“You’re not going to dominate for 90 minutes, but when the momentum’s not with you, you work hard to keep a clean sheet.”

The defending champions have found their groove in recent months and are now 33 games unbeaten in the Women’s Super League.

With six successive league victories in a row, the leaders have set the standard and the Chelsea boss sees a side brimming with confidence.

Hayes added: “I’m so blessed with so many good players. We have so much quality in the side, from week to week we’re able to provide opportunities for players who work so hard in training.

“I think Melanie Leupolz has been an unbelievable signing for us this season. She brings an energy and tenacity but also composure, calmness and leadership that adds to what we already had.

“That’s always a strength if everybody can stay committed to the cause. That’s the challenging part when you’ve got so much depth.

“Confidence is high and that’s why…

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