Harder hits double as Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-0 in WSL

·1-min read
Women's Super League - Aston Villa v Chelsea

LONDON (Reuters) - Danish forward Pernille Harder struck twice early in the second half to set Chelsea on their way to a 3-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday that sends them three points clear at the top of the FA Women's Super League with eight games left to play.

Having suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend that ended a 33-match unbeaten run in the league, Chelsea struggled to break down Arsenal until Harder made the breakthrough early in the second half.

The 28-year-old opened the scoring three minutes into the second period with a dipping, swerving shot form the edge of the box, and she added a second 10 minutes later with a thumping drive from Fran Kirby's pull-back in the box.

Kirby added a third for Chelsea in the 90th minute to complete a victory that puts the reigning champions on 35 points after 14 games, three ahead of Manchester United, who play third-placed Manchester City on Friday.

Brighton made it two wins out of two as Aileen Whelan got on the scoresheet for the second game in a row to secure a 1-0 win over struggling West Ham.

The derby between Birmingham City and Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur's clash with Bristol City were postponed due to frozen pitches.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Toby Davis)