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Chelsea’s Guro Reiten says beating Arsenal to WSL crown will ‘mean everything’ as title race begins to intensify | Football news


Chelsea are no strangers to tight title races in the WSL, having beaten Manchester City by one point last season and usurped their spot in points-per-game during the 2019/20 pandemic.

This year has added a little spice to it. Chelsea and Arsenal were the top two, with a hill-like rivalry that flared up even more the moment new coach Jonas Eidevall knelt to celebrate the Gunners’ last-minute victory as the two sides meet on the opening day of the season.

Since then, camp blues and prongs have been swapped between the Swedes and Emma Hayes, while the teams have been separated by at least two points since early February, and their 0-0 draw the same month. has been described as the game of the season despite ending goalless.

Chelsea’s Guro Reiten has featured in all but one of the Blues’ WSL games this season and feels the rivalry between two of England’s oldest rivals.

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That opening day defeat hasn’t been easy for her or the Blues, who have lost just one of their previous 43 games stretching back to January 2019, but have helped nurture an exceptional opponent. special in her heart. “I won’t lie, we always monitor each other’s results,” she said Sports sky with a wry smile.

Adversity isn’t something the 2020/21 FA Cup and Champions League champions face too often but that early defeat, along with being knocked out of the group stage this season and defeat in the Conti Cup final before Manchester City added a section. next to her championship ambitions.

Consecutive WSL winners are yet to top the table this season at any point, a record they can finally set straight when they take on Leicester on Sunday, live. Sports sky.

What will it mean to get to the top and take Arsenal to the title? “It means everything after the season we’ve had, with the Champions League we don’t talk about much – but we wanted to win the championship, have the FA Cup, and we lost,” said Reiten. Continental Cup Finals.

“We love to play against each other, Arsenal and us. It’s the most exciting game to play. You want to win and when you don’t have a hard time. But we knew after the first game it was going to be a season. It’s been a long league and everyone has dropped a few points here and there.Hopefully we can be number one when the season is over.

“Someone said in the dressing room that if you’re not enjoying this then you’re in the wrong place. We’re nervous, but we love the feeling, we want to play games every week when you wear the Chelsea shirt, there’s a lot of pressure every day for us. We love that feeling, fighting for titles and we want to win.

“Sometimes when you lose, you realize you want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We’ve had that feeling twice this year and we have to show we’ve learned from that. and win the rest of the games this season.”

Reiten’s appearances this season mean that two and a half years after switching his native Norway to Cobham, the 27-year-old will prepare for his 50th WSL game this weekend.

While that may not mean much for the midfielder herself, it is a sign of the consistency she has provided to her club that if she is selected and Chelsea win, she will become the most successful player in WSL history in their first 50 games, with her 39 wins matching Arsenal duo Lia Walti and Vivianne Miedema.

At the end of the campaign, it could be an award she looks back on with pride. Probably not if Chelsea hadn’t lifted the WSL trophy at the time. Even the top of the table was something she dared not let herself be distracted by, with the ultimate reward being the league title in Chelsea’s hands.

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Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says she is enjoying being behind Arsenal in the WSL title race

“Everybody talks about big games but every game is huge – we have to get the points to be where we are, it’s everything up to us,” she said. “We just need to win the games, and if we do that, we’ll win the league.

“We don’t think about what if, or what will happen after. We have to do the work first, Wednesday’s game against Spurs will be a tough one, but we have a lot of faith and faith in what we’re doing right now.

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Guro Reiten was targeted as Chelsea beat Everton to play one of their two WSL games in the hands of Arsenal ahead of Wednesday’s game against Tottenham

“Of course, we want to be at the top of the table. But the most important thing is to be at the top of the table, and to do that we have to do a good job every game. You have to live in the moment, and there’s still a lot to go. a lot of work to do before that. We have to just focus on how to win every game.”

Reiten’s significant contribution to Chelsea’s results could easily be overlooked in a team so difficult to win. The Blues have won 39 of their 50 games since the start of the 2019/20 season, a near 80% margin, led by Hayes’ relentlessly high standards and calculating mindset.

Even the 45-year-old was caught off guard after Sam Kerr’s stoppage-time winner against Aston Villa earlier this month, with the initiative not being given back to Arsenal.

Reiten said: “The game against Aston Villa, it was so close, it meant so much to everyone and we celebrated like crazy. It’s a moment we will remember.

“Emma is a great manager, what she has done for Chelsea – not just Chelsea really but also for women’s football – she has a great team around her and creates great spirit in the team. team.

“She’s tough, but she’s also a character, every day she says something that makes us laugh, she’s so funny so that’s a real balance to her.

“She always wants more, to make us better every day. We want to win, so we listen.”

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Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says fans should not be punished following UK government sanctions against the club.

That has certainly been proven with Chelsea winning eight of the last 10 in all competitions and finally regaining control of its WSL destiny.

And with that added desire to beat their closest opponents forward, it will take a brave man to wager with Reiten and her teammates to add a second winner’s medal. three in a row to their collection.

Watch Leicester Women vs Chelsea Women Live on Sky Sports Premier League, Football and Main Event from 2:45pm on Sunday; starting at 3pm.





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