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Catarina Macario shines on debut as Chelsea defeat Leicester 4-0 to reclaim WSL top spot

Posted : 03 March 2024

Catarina Macario made a triumphant return to the pitch, scoring on her Chelsea debut after a 20-month absence due to injury, as the Blues defeated Leicester 4-0, reclaiming the top spot in the Women's Super League.


Macario, a 24-year-old American, signed with Chelsea in July while still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury sustained during her time with Lyon in 2022.


Mayra Ramirez also contributed with her first WSL goal, adding to Nathalie Bjorn's opener, while Johanna Rytting Kaneryd secured a 3-0 lead before Macario's impressive strike past Leicester's Lize Kop.


Chelsea's quest for a fifth consecutive WSL trophy faced a setback last month with a defeat to City, their closest rivals for the title. Despite being briefly displaced by City's win over Everton, Chelsea now shares the same points with Gareth Taylor's side but leads the table due to a superior goal difference.


The two teams are set to test their title-winning credentials in the upcoming semi-finals of the Continental League Cup on Thursday. Meanwhile, Leicester remains in seventh place in the table with 16 points.


In the match against Leicester, despite Chelsea's rapid start, the visitors dominated the opening half-hour, with Guro Reiten coming close to giving them an early lead. Nathalie Bjorn eventually broke the deadlock, capitalizing on Leicester's failure to clear a corner.


Mayra Ramirez extended Chelsea's lead with a solo effort, showcasing her skills after a defensive error. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and substitute Catarina Macario further secured Chelsea's victory with their contributions, marking a significant moment for Macario on her debut.


With star striker Sam Kerr sidelined due to an ACL injury, the performances of Ramirez and Macario could prove crucial to Chelsea's title aspirations, providing depth and firepower to Emma Hayes' side. The win against Leicester not only solidifies Chelsea's position at the top but also emphasizes the resilience and depth of their squad in the absence of key players.


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