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Spence and England net as Hayes’ aces march into Women’s FA Cup semis

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EMMA HAYES praised her players for sweeping Birmingham City aside in a 5-0 FA Cup quarter-final demolition.

Drew Spence’s 50th goal in a Blues shirt was among the efforts that helped them move closer to winning the trophy for a fourth time.

Drew Spence netted Chelsea's second goal in their FA Cup quarter-final win

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Drew Spence netted Chelsea’s second goal in their FA Cup quarter-final winCredit: Getty

Earlier this month Hayes insisted it would be business as usual when asked if the sale of Chelsea would be a distraction for her side.

And they got down to ruthless business on the pitch with a clinical display in front of goal.

Hayes rotated her attacking line-up with Beth England, Ji So-yun and Spence starting while Erin Cuthbert and Sam Kerr were on the bench.

The Blues boss said: “The challenge when you rotate a team is to be able to perform at the same level.

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“At times this year, the team know when I’ve not been happy with their performances after rotating.

“But after this game, I was happy we’d learn the lessons of the past in terms of what you have to do to work the opponent down.

“We were worthy of the 1-0 lead in the first half.

“But we worked them so hard that by the time the second half come we’ve done that hard work to create the chances.

“And as for Drew, she is a legend of this club and I’m delighted to see her get her 50th goal.”

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The last time the league champs faced a top tier side from the Midlands, it took them 92 minutes to net the winner, in a 1-0 defeat of Aston Villa.

However, this encounter was an altogether different affair with the league leaders nabbing an opener much earlier against their injury-hit opponents.

Magda Eriksson’s goal minutes before half-time saw the hosts rewarded for their dominance in possession and earlier shots on target.

Birmingham, who withstood a barrage, had a decent chance to net early on with Lucy Quinn’s seventh-minute half-volley .

But after that, it was mostly one-way traffic with Millie Bright striking the post in the 18th minute.

And England headed wide around the half-hour mark before Eriksson nodded home. The second spell saw Chelsea crank up the pressure.

And “champions of England, you can’t sanction that” was among the chants sang by fans at Kingsmeadow as their side went further ahead.

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There were just over 1,000 present due to the ban on the club selling tickets following government sanctions of the Blues current owner.

Spence doubled Chelsea’s lead with a strike into the far corner around the 55th minute.

And the Blues midfielder almost sealed a brace after attempting to round keeper Marie Hourihan, but backheeled for England to tap home Chelsea’s third instead.

Niamh Charles sent a looping header over Hourihan around the 65th minute as last year cup winners made it four.

Moments after England netted to register her brace as Chelsea swept into Monday’s semi-final draw with a 5-0 win.

With their FA Cup journey ended Birmingham will turn their attention to their bid to avoid relegation

However, the team have suffered a fitness blow with several first team aces out of action including centre-back Harriet Scott.

Birmingham boss Darren Carter said: “We’re missing Jade Pennock and add to that Louanne Worsley, Sarah Ewens and Lucy Whipp.

Magda Eriksson headed Chelsea 1-0 up close to half time

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Magda Eriksson headed Chelsea 1-0 up close to half timeCredit: Getty

“And we only got clearance on Emily Ramsay on Saturday, but she hasn’t trained.

“We’ve been cursed a little bit in the last few weeks with injuries and coming to Chelsea even with a full-strength side you’re going to be up against it.

“But with limited depth it’s always going to be a real challenge, so it’s a tough period for us at the minute.”



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