Karen Carney has lauded the “fantastic” second stringers of Chelsea after their 5-0 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur in the WSL League Cup on Thursday.
Goals from Deanna Cooper, Ali Riley, Carney and Bethany England (two) at Cheshunt guaranteed Emma Hayes’ side finished the group stage with a perfect record and meant that the first-place finish would see them secure a home time against second-placed teams in the quarterfinal.
The Blues are ending the year in spectacular form with eight straight victories while also having kept a clean sheet in the last 10. Despite Hayes enforcing eight changes to the starting XI that beat Brighton last weekend, and with the match practically a dead rubber, Chelsea still reigned over their city rivals right from the get-go with their usual high standards and captain Carney underlined her side’s squad depth.
“The subs that came on against Brighton were fantastic – they took us to another level and won us the game – and I don’t think the subs are always given enough credit,” said the England international. “It’s difficult when the team is doing well and you’ve got to wait for your chance, training every single day, but credit to the bench players who came on against Brighton, as they were fantastic and they got a start against Tottenham, which is good and well deserved and another good performance. We’re happy we’ve got a really good squad and group.”
Carney continued his praise on the Chelsea second stringers by highlighting the strikes from Riley, who, with that goal, opened her account for the Blues, and from England, who had scored a brace in each of her last three matches.
“It’s a great finish from Ali,” added Carney. “It was a special goal, and I love the fact we have so many different goalscorers.
“Beth [England] is playing with confidence in her preferred position,” continued the Chelsea skipper. “She’s a fantastic player.
“We’ve got a fantastic squad, with injured players still to come back. Everyone’s chipping in, working really hard in training, and I think it’s shown on the pitch.
“We’ve got to give credit to the goalkeepers and defence, too, as I don’t think they get plaudits sometimes, but this is our 10th clean sheet in a row and their work-rate is unbelievable.”