Sam Kerr’s first-half strike helped Chelsea beat Tottenham 3-0 at Stamford Bridge and lift the Blues to the top of the Women’s Super League table.
Spurs started well but the Blues took full control in front of 38,350 supporters.
Erin Cuthbert extended the hosts’ lead before Guro Reiten scored just before the break in Emma Hayes’ first game back on the pitch after her emergency hysterectomy last month.
The strike extended Kerr’s tally against Spurs to six goals in five games as defending champions Chelsea moved three points clear of second-placed Arsenal.
The visitors dominated the opening minutes and had the first chance through Drew Spence, whose low cross from the right was easily stopped by Ann-Katrin Berger.
Spurs were awarded an early free-kick after Jessie Fleming brought down Spence, returning to face her old club for the first time, but Berger was on hand to save Eveliina Summanen’s effort.
It took just four minutes for Chelsea to score the only goal the last time these teams met at the Bridge. This time it took Kerr 12 minutes to find the opener, avoiding trouble late on before curling a cool shot down the right.
Kerr almost got another minute when he chased down a loose ball in the area but was beaten by Tinja-Riikka Korpela, who did well to keep out Kerr’s shot soon after.
Chelsea got their second when Reiten’s corner hit an open Cuthbert just outside the 18-yard box, who brought the ball down with his chest before sending a volley into the top right corner.
The players made it three when Lauren James was charged in the area and the referee pointed to it. Reiten stepped up and sent Korpela the wrong way with a convincing finish.
Spence was hoping to deny his former team a clean sheet, but he sent a cross down the left before Berger came off his line to pick the ball up in the air and deny Ashleigh Neville before the break.
Chelsea continued to press after the restart and had several chances to add to their lead, Korpela first to block Magdalena Eriksson’s powerful strike before Millie Bright headed in a try.
Jessica Naz broke free to try and set up another for Spurs but Bright was on hand to clear her cross, Berger having worked Neville’s long range in the near future.
Spurs emerged unscathed from a prolonged Chelsea attack, James missing the chance to extend the Blues’ advantage on 75 minutes by sending his effort from 20 yards wide from the left.
Hayes: Raise ticket prices for women’s soccer
After the match, boss Chelsea Hayes was pleased with the turnout but remained firm in her assessment of the financial situation, saying fans should pay more to watch women’s football.
Hayes insisted the move was necessary to raise the extra money needed to host matches at Premier League venues.
“I want to live here again,” he said. “I think we all know that to solve the problem of women’s sport around what we do from the smaller arenas, is there a central plan to go to the intermediate arenas before everyone comes to the big house?
“I don’t know, but I’m sure we’re all outgrowing our little stadiums, that’s for sure. I know the players want to come here, but I think it’s important for there to be a business. I think one of the biggest things that maybe we don’t talk about enough is how cheap women’s football is.” .
“I really believe that we have to increase the value system if we want to play more in these places, because there is a value for money. And I think that the audience is there, not every game but certainly maybe eight. games, 12 games a year.
“But we have to be very ambitious for ourselves. Is it too cheap to watch women’s football? I think it’s difficult, especially in the top games.”
Ticket prices for the women’s top flight remain significantly lower than for the men’s games, with adult prices for Sunday’s WSL match between Chelsea and Spurs listed on the Blues website starting at £9 compared to the cheapest price of £48 (with no restrictions. ) watch the men’s team in action against Premier League opposition.