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West Ham 0-2 Chelsea: Aggie Beever-Jones and Erin Cuthbert score as Blues return to top of WSL

Aggie Beever Jones celebrating her opening goal against West Ham
Aggie Beever-Jones' opener was her sixth goal of the season

Chelsea returned to the top of the Women's Super League with a battling victory at West Ham.

Aggie Beever-Jones and Erin Cuthbert were on target as the Blues moved back above Manchester City on goal difference with five games remaining.

Chelsea were made to work hard for the points by a spirited West Ham side, who did play like a team sitting second-bottom of the table.

In a pulsating first half the Hammers nearly took the lead after 20 seconds through Viviane Asseyi's header, only for Chelsea to go up the other end and score with their first attack.

Lauren James ran on to a searching through ball into the penalty area and played a neat first-time cutback for Beever-Jones to smash home from close range.

The Hammers felt aggrieved when Honoka Hayashi had the ball in the Chelsea net but was flagged offside, despite replays showing the Japan midfielder was behind the last defender as she ran on to a flicked header.

Cuthbert sealed the points late on with a thumping volley from inside the area.

Chelsea maintain quadruple bid

Chelsea have now won six successive games across four competitions as they continue their march towards a potential quadruple.

It was also the sixth of eight matches in a hectic March and some players did look a little weary.

But despite not being at their fluid best the WSL champions showed considerable resilience against the Hammers, who held Manchester United to a draw two weeks ago and beat title challengers Arsenal last month.

West Ham can take heart from the display but know they need to turn performances into results if they are to banish any lingering relegation fears, with defeat for bottom side Bristol City earlier on Sunday meaning the gap remains six points.

After going behind early on Kirsty Smith should have equalised for the home side when she met Jessica Ziu's low cross at the far post, but she skewed her effort wide.

Riko Ueki also struck the bar with a wonderful effort from distance, before Asseyi blazed wildly over from inside the area just before half-time.

Chelsea gained more control after the break and came close to doubling their lead when Mayra Ramirez's scrambled finish hit the foot of the post.

They sealed the points in style when substitute Cuthbert chested down a corner at the far post before blasting a volley into the net.

A 3-0 first-leg lead against Ajax in their Champions League quarter-final means manager Emma Hayes may look to rotate her squad for Wednesday's second leg as she bids to navigate a busy schedule.

After Ajax, the Blues take on Arsenal in the Women's League Cup final on 31 March before facing Manchester United in the Women's FA Cup semi-finals next month.