Sam Kerr has left the football world gobsmacked with two of the most remarkable title-deciding goals in an unprecedented Women's Super League (WSL) moment for Chelsea.
The Aussie's Blues were made to sweat before clinching a historic third consecutive WSL title after twice coming from behind to beat Manchester United 4-2 on the final day.
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Only a win would do for Kerr and Chelsea after title challengers Arsenal won 2-0 at West Ham.
However, Kerr showed why she was crowned the football writers' player of the year this week with two stunning volleys in the second half as the Blues roared back from twice going behind before the break.
Martha Thomas and Ella Toone struck either side of Erin Cuthbert's Chelsea equaliser as United battled to keep their hopes of Champions League football next season alive.
Kerr led the fightback by scoring within 60 seconds of the restart - her first goal a stunning volley with her weaker left foot from the edge of the box.
IT JUST HAD TO BE! Sam Kerr puts Chelsea back on top of the league with a 𝒔𝒕𝒖𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒓! 🔥🇦🇺
The Blues are on track to win the league on the final day!
Stream #CHEMUN 📺 https://t.co/LeSAynQcrh
Stream #WHUARS 📺 https://t.co/Azj2sME7t5#OptusSport #BarclaysFAWSL pic.twitter.com/K6hSQNoQ6V
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) May 8, 2022
Guro Reiten then put Chelsea in front before Kerr sealed the title in style with her 20th goal in as many games.
While Kerr's first goal was class, her second was from another planet as the Aussie chested the ball, swiveled and volleyed in one motion to send the ball looping into the back of the net from well outside the box.
— Chimaobi okpala⭐⭐ (@Mikestein36) May 8, 2022
Outrageous from Sam Kerr!!!!!!!!
— Faye Carruthers (@FayeCarruthers) May 8, 2022
Wow. Outrageous effort from Sam Kerr, controlled, turned and looped home. Brilliant.
— ᗷIᒪᒪ ᖇIᑕᕮ 🎙📻 (@billrice23) May 8, 2022
SAM KERR HAS SCORED TWO OF THE MOST RIDICULOUS GOALS I HAVE EVER SEEN. 😎
— Nick Verlaney ⭐️⭐️ (@nickverlaney) May 8, 2022
That is the most Sam Kerr thing I’ve ever seen. Ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/sEboDEEPw3
— Miriam Walker-Khan (@mimwalkerkhan) May 8, 2022
That Sam Kerr goal was utterly ridiculous. Worthy of winning the title.
— Tom Hamilton (@tomhamiltonespn) May 8, 2022
On the eve of the title decider against United, Kerr confided in Chelsea teammate Erin Cuthbert: "I'm going to score a worldie tomorrow!"
As it turns out, she scored a brace.
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.
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.
Sam Kerr 'worldies' fire Chelsea to third straight league title
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.
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