France striker Olivier Giroud has swapped the EPL for Serie A next season, joining Italian club AC Milan from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee.
Sam Kerr has completed a glorious Women’s Super League campaign, scoring a Golden Boot-sealing goal in the 5-0 victory over Reading that ensured Chelsea retained their title as English champions.
The Matildas captain volleyed home her 21st goal of the WSL season in the 71st minute at Chelsea’s Kingsmeadow home on Sunday to ensure she won the prized accolade as the league’s top scorer.
Kerr also played a big part in three more goals, assisting on two for her equally deadly strike partner Fran Kirby and producing a point-blank header which was well saved but fell to Erin Cuthbert to scramble home a fifth.
Her Golden Boot season follows those she previously enjoyed as top scorer in US and Australian league seasons.
“But this probably means the most to me out of all my golden boots. I feel like a lot of people said I had to come to Europe to prove myself and here it is,” beamed Kerr, who had to put up with critics after a lukewarm start to her Chelsea career .
Typically, though, the consummate team player was now more interested in ensuring Chelsea successfully defended their crown as they finished two points clear of Manchester City, who won 1-0 at West Ham on the season’s final day.
“It’s a dream come true – they’re amazing,” Kerr said of the star-studded Chelsea side whose triumphant season may not be finished yet.
For while her goals – 27 in all competitions – have already helped Chelsea to a League Cup win and now the WSL title, she’s desperate to cap it all by winning the Women’s Champions League against Barcelona in Gothenburg next Sunday.
Chelsea, who are still in the FA Cup too, could even go on and achieve a ‘quadruple’ of trophies, a feat only previously achieved by Arsenal.
It had promised to be a nailbiting afternoon for Chelsea but any worries were instantly eased when German international Melanie Leupolz shot them ahead after a neat set-piece from a corner in only 68 seconds – the quickest goal of the WSL season.
Then the ‘Special K’ partnership of Kirby and Kerr took over.
The pair, whose double act has been likened to the former Manchester United duo of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, linked up brilliantly again, with Kerr setting up player-of-the-match Kirby’s double either side of the break with precision passing.
Then Kirby lofted a delicious pass into the area into Kerr’s path, allowing the predatory Australian to volley past goalkeeper Grace Moloney.
Kerr’s only the second woman to score 20 goals in a WSL season and has taken over from Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema, who had won the two previous Golden Boots but was second this season on 18.
“She’s absolutely quality. She’s been on fire this year and she’s a joy to play with,” England international Kirby said of Kerr after the pair had made it 52 goals for the season between them.
“I know when I put it in the area she’s going to score.”
Chelsea, who have now won a record fourth title, finished on 57 points from 22 games, two clear of Manchester City and nine clear of Arsenal, who in Australian coach Joe Montemurro’s last season bagged the final Champions League qualification spot.
Aston Villa, who drew 0-0 with Arsenal, and Birmingham City, who lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur, both survived the drop but Bristol City were relegated to the Championship following a 3-1 defeat by Brighton.