Emma Hayes ends Chelsea reign with 5th successive WSL title

Chelsea clinched their fifth consecutive Women's Super League (WSL) title on Saturday to ensure that head coach Emma Hayes ended her 12-year reign at the club in style.

Hayes' side thrashed Manchester United 6-0 at Old Trafford on the final day of the season to pip Manchester City to the title on goal difference.

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The WSL title was Hayes' 16th major trophy at Chelsea and ensured that her final season at the club before departing to join the United States women's national team finished with silverware.

"It's extra special to get it for Emma and the players who are leaving us," Chelsea captain Millie Bright, who returned from injury to play a key part in the run-in, told Sky Sports.

"We've got the monster mentality, we've shown it season after season," she added.

City, who went into the final day of the season level on points with Chelsea, needed to beat Aston Villa by a margin of at least three goals to stand any chance of winning their first league title since 2016.

But their hopes were quickly dashed by Chelsea, who raced into a two-goal lead within eight minutes and were 4-0 up by half-time at Old Trafford.

City beat Villa 2-1 to finish the season level with Chelsea's 55 points, but their goal difference of 46 was inferior to Chelsea's by seven.

Record signing Mayra Ramírez starred for Chelsea, scoring twice and setting up another for Sjoeke Nüsken. Johanna Kaneryd also got on the scoresheet in the first half before Melanie Leupolz got Chelsea's fifth soon after the break.

England international Fran Kirby, who will be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, gave Chelsea fans further cause for celebration after scoring her side's sixth goal of the afternoon late on.

The title appeared to be in City's grasp after Chelsea's 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on May 1 saw Gareth Taylor's side open up a six-point lead at the top of the table, albeit having played a game more.

With City needing just four points from their remaining two games to win the league, Hayes conceded "the title is done" after her side's defeat at Prenton Park.

Arsenal's 2-1 win at City courtesy of a late Stina Blackstenius double coupled with Chelsea's 8-0 thrashing of Bristol City that obliterated City's goal-difference advantage swung the odds back in the west London's side favour.

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On Wednesday, Chelsea beat FA Cup finalists Tottenham 1-0 in their penultimate league game of the season to go into the final day as league leaders.

"We were given a second chance, they don't come around often but you have to take them, and we did. We beat Bristol City, beat Tottenham and we've come here and put on a five-star performance to take this title," a beaming Bright said before running off to raise the trophy together with Hayes.

The WSL had emerged as Chelsea's only route to silverware this season, following their Conti Cup final loss to Arsenal and exits in the FA Cup and Champions League to United and Barcelona respectively.

Speaking before the trip to Old Trafford, Hayes had said a trophy-less season won't define her tenure. Ultimately, Chelsea's win on Saturday only further enhanced it.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report