Defending champions moved to the top of the table with a thumping victory over Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

Emma Hayes’ side have been playing catch-up against but knew the title would be theirs if they could win all their remaining games after drawing with the Gunners last month.

They were far too good for the Foxes, running away with a 9-0 win against the 11th-placed hosts, scoring seven times in the first 47 minutes.

Chelsea women defeated Leicester 9-0 on Sunday afternoon at the King Power Stadium

Bethany England netted a brace for Emma Hayes’ side to help her team go top of the table

Guro Reiten, Sam Kerr and Bethany England all scored twice, while there were also goals for Aniek Nouwen, Lauren James — her first in Chelsea colours — and Jessie Fleming on Sunday afternoon.

The victory was Chelsea’s joint biggest in the WSL and also the equal biggest away win in the competition’s history.The leaders now sit a point ahead of second-placed Arsenal with five games remaining.

Chelsea’s Emma Hayes said: ‘I could see this result coming for us. I’ve seen the way we trained the last three days and I feel like we’re in the final stretch of the season, we know what this is about and I want to keep improving on performances.

‘We were doing some different things in training to create overloads and I saw it done in abundance today. 

‘The team just has so much flexibility and I can do so many different things with them because they are intelligent and they know how to win games with the same relentlessness that I demand.

‘We’re used to being in this position, however, everybody knows the type of games we’ve got coming up.

Forward Sam Kerr, 28, also bagged her herself a brace as Chelsea ran riot in the Midlands

Manager Emma Hayes was delighted with her side’s performance, insisting ‘it was coming’

‘I just personally enjoy good performances; I’m not really bothered about the result, in the first instance.Of course it is about winning, but I want to see us improving, that’s what motivates me as a coach.

‘The team was incredible today. It wasn’t just about having fun, we were so clinical and so ruthless. But you see the difference with our squad depth now; with so many players back it’s driving the standards at training and that’s where the magic happens.’

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