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Emma Hayes rejects allegations of pressuring Chelsea women

MANCHESTER, England — Chelsea women’s head coach Emma Hayes has dismissed claims her side are under pressure as they seek to win a third consecutive Women’s Super League title at the weekend.

The Blues are currently in control, leading the standings with 53 points heading into the final day of action. Victory at home to Manchester United on Sunday would secure their league status regardless of results elsewhere.

“I’m from a municipal estate. Believe me, the pressure was to put money on the table to pay the bills when I was a kid. It’s not pressure,” Hayes said during an interview. a press conference on Friday.

“Look at the cost of inflation, look at the rising costs for people paying the bills. It’s far from a pressure, it’s a joy. I love my job.

“I enjoy the situation, but more importantly I enjoy representing a club that I love. And being in a position where we can continue to win on behalf of Chelsea is something I think I was born to do. “

Chelsea, who have won their last nine matches in the WSL, beat United 6-1 away earlier in the season and will be favorites to win the game.

Arsenal are their title opponents, one point behind and playing West Ham on Sunday. If Chelsea fail to triumph in their game, the Gunners could clinch their first title since the 2018/19 season.

All matches start at noon (11:00 GMT).

United will likely be a tougher challenge for Chelsea than at the start of the season. The Blues needed a second-half penalty to beat last-placed Birmingham City last weekend and fourth-placed United would have a much bigger fight.

The Manchester club are in their own battle at the top of the table, two points behind neighbors City in the race for third place in European qualification. Claiming that spot may hinge on Reading securing an unlikely win over City, but it’s a possibility that will boost United in their own game.

The top three clubs in the WSL all qualify for the Women’s Champions League and United have never played in Europe before.

Birmingham were relegated to the FA Women’s Championship on Wednesday after a 6-0 loss to Man City, five points behind that result, with just eight points from their 21 games so far.

(Reporting by Adam Millington; Editing by Hugh Lawson)