WSL wrap: Chelsea complete five-in-a-row

US-bound Emma Hayes’s 12-year reign as manager finishes in glorious style with a 6-0 victory at Old Trafford to secure another title success

The WSL season came to an end on Saturday with Chelsea wrapping up their fifth title in a row, their 6-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford bringing the US-bound Emma Hayes’ 12-year reign as manager to a triumphant conclusion.

In all, 14 Republic of Ireland players made WSL appearances this season, no one’s campaign ending on a greater high than that of Leanne Kiernan. She scored a hat-trick for Liverpool after coming on for the last 25 minutes of their game away to Leicester City, their 4-0 win sealing a fourth-place finish, their highest since 2017.

Aston Villa’s Anna Patten and Bristol City’s Megan Connolly had the distinction of starting every one of their club’s 22 WSL games, with Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Katie McCabe (Arsenal) and Heather Payne (Everton) next on the list of Irish players who played the most minutes. Jess Ziu had a hugely encouraging season with West Ham too, returning from an ACL injury to make 16 appearances.

In Scotland, Caitlin Hayes was part of the Celtic team that won its first ever Premier League title, beating Rangers to the crown on goal difference. But they didn’t half leave it late, Amy Gallacher getting the only goal of their game against Hibernian in the 90th minute. That rounded off a week that saw Hayes named Celtic’s player of the year for a second season in a row.


Meanwhile, Diane Caldwell, Amber Barrett and Claire O’Riordan are still in with a shout of winning the Swiss and Belgian league titles respectively.

Caldwell’s FC Zurich are through to the play-off final against Serviette next Sunday after they beat FC Basel in the semi-finals, while Barrett and O’Riordan’s Standard Liege kept their title hopes alive with a 2-0 win away to Gent. Anderlecht remain favourites, though, Standard two points behind with one game to go – and Anderlecht play bottom side Genk.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times