Losing WSL season start for Kerr's Chelsea

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Sam Kerr's Chelsea have begun their Women's Super League title defence in England with a 3-2 loss to Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

England striker Bethany Mead scored twice for Arsenal to prove the difference in the opening round thriller on Sunday.

Matildas star Kerr - last season's WSL golden boot winner with 21 goals - failed to find the back of the net for Chelsea but still threatened to equalise late in the match.

Chelsea threw everything forward in the closing minutes trailing 3-2 but despite getting dangerous balls into the box, the closest they came was a Kerr header straight at the 'keeper.

There are 10 Matildas in the WSL including Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Lydia Williams at Arsenal who drew first blood on Sunday.

Vivianne Miedema gave the home side the lead in the 14th minute, latching on to a pass down the left wing from Katie McCabe before firing home low at the far post for her 61st goal in 68 WSL games for Arsenal.

Erin Cuthbert equalised for Chelsea before the break with a goal in the 44th minute, slotting home Melanie Leupolz's pass.

Arsenal looked to have sealed it with two goals from Mead in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

Shortly after the re-start Mead lashed a stunning shot into the far corner before grabbing a second on the hour.

But a brilliantly-timed header by Pernille Harder in the 64th minute set up the grandstand finish.

"We scored two goals at the Emirates and had 15 shots, so created chances but you can't concede three goals and expect to win games," said Chelsea boss Emma Hayes.

In Sunday's other game, West Ham United's Hawa Cissoko was sent off as Brighton & Hove Albion eased past the visitors 2-0 with first-half strikes from Inessa Kaagman and Lee Geum-min.

Cissoko was adjudged to have handled a goal-bound shot in the 34th minute and the resultant penalty was calmly dispatched by Kaagman. Brighton doubled their advantage seven minutes later, with Lee scoring from close range following some sloppy defending by West Ham.

Last season's runner-up Manchester City top the table after their 4-0 win over Everton on Saturday with Brighton joint-second with Manchester United, who beat Reading 2-0.

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