Chelsea gasp at Kerr's 'worldie' strikes

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On the eve of their Women's Super League title decider against Manchester United, Sam Kerr confided in her Chelsea teammate Erin Cuthbert: "I'm going to score a worldie tomorrow!"

Kerr was wrong.

She scored two.

Two volleys - one blistering equaliser with her left foot when the title was in danger of slipping away and one unreal finish with her right which sealed Chelsea's 4-2 triumph and an unprecedented third straight title - had English soccer purring over the Australian captain on Sunday.

They were goals which had the Chelsea fans singing her name at their Kingsmeadow home and had manager Emma Hayes shrugging: "Sam Kerr wins you games ... she's the best for a reason. She steps up once again for this football club."

It's not just that Kerr scores hatfuls of goals - her tally of 20 goals earned her the Golden Boot as the WSL top scorer for the second consecutive year - but that so often they come at crucial times.

Or as a smiling Kerr put it herself after Sunday's match: "I'm not known for my worldie goals, but the thing that I'm known for is getting it done when it matters."

On Sunday, she did both, as Chelsea were 2-1 down at halftime and, across London, Arsenal, one point behind at the start of the day, were drawing at West Ham and then in pole position to take the title, ahead on goal difference.

But Kerr changed everything 47 seconds after the break, smashing home a left-foot volley when United failed to clear their ranks.

It was a mere hors d'oeuvre. After Chelsea had gone 3-2 ahead through Guro Reiten, she served up a goal which Hayes could only salute breathlessly as "world-class ... it was outrageous, audacious".

Kerr controlled a header from Reiten high on her chest with back to goal before swivelling in an instant and lobbing Manchester United goalie Mary Earps, who'd strayed off her line, from 25 metres. Puskas Award-winning material.

It was the goal which rendered Arsenal's 2-0 win at West Ham - which also included a fine goal from Kerr's Matildas teammate Steph Catley - redundant.

"I dunno, I visualise scoring crazy goals like that all the time! I thought just try it, let's have a pop," smiled Kerr.

"It sat up nicely, I just chested it down and whacked it and it went in! I didn't even know the keeper was out, I thought I'd just try it."

Her teammates were left gasping. "I was just awe-struck, it was a really special moment, the connect was just...unbelievable," said Canadian international Jessie Fleming. "She was on fire today."

It completed a wonderful week for Kerr, who had taken the English football writers' award as woman player of the year on Thursday and ended it with her seventh Golden Boot award in six years across three continents.

"I said to her, 'come to Chelsea and you'll win trophies'," said Hayes, reflecting on when she first tried to woo the superstar to come to the club.

"I can sit here confidently and say we both made the right decision.

"We're both made for Chelsea and we both love days like today."

And there may be more to come. Next week at Wembley, Kerr will aim to shoot Chelsea to another FA Cup triumph in the final against Manchester City.

In the 2020-21 final, she scored two against Arsenal, topped off by a brilliant lob.

If anyone can top that, it's worldie Kerr.

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