20 min: Bright hits the post! Bristol City are hanging on to their 1-0 deficit. A left-wing corner was headed back across goal by Eriksson towards Bright, who took the ball down and battered it off the post from close range. Leupolz’s header was then scrambled away by the diving Baggaley. Bright’s was the big chance.
20 min Chelsea are starting to turn the screw. Kirby plays a one-two with Ji and forces the ball through to Kerr, who looks set to score when Purfield makes a vital sliding challenge.
17 min Almost a second goal for Chelsea. Kerr lobs a pass over the defence to England, whose shot on the turn is saved by Baggaley. England didn’t quite get hold of it.
GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Bristol City (Kirby 15)
A lovely moment for Fran Kirby, who scores her first WSL goal for 16 months! It was a mistake from Sophie Baggaley, who let the ball slither through her and into the net. While it was a good left-footed strike from Kirby on the edge of the area, Baggaley knows she should have saved it.
15 min City are working so hard without the ball. It won’t be easy to sustain that intensity for 90 minutes, but so far their tactics have worked well.
13 min Leupolz twists away from Palmer, 25 yards from goal, and curls a good effort that drifts just wide of the far post. Baggaley had it covered.
11 min England finds Kirby, who moves the ball on to the overlapping Mjelde down the right. Her cross takes a deflection and dribbles through to Baggaley, but these are good signs for Chelsea.
9 min Cuthbert hits a snap-volley well wide with her left foot. Chelsea are slowly finding their rhythm.
5 min The first half chance for Chelsea. Cuthbert and Keer combine nicely to find England, who drives over the bar from distance.
5 min It’s been an energetic start from City, who haven’t allowed Chelsea to settle. Five down, 85 to go.
3 min Bristol City are pressing from the front, which is a pretty brave tactic against this Chelsea team.
1 min Peep peep! Bristol City, in red and white, kick off from right to left. Chelsea are in blue.
The players were ready to go, but it’s only 12.28pm so they have to stand around awkwardly for 90 seconds.
It’s a beautiful day at Kingsmeadow, warm but with a pleasant cooling breeze.
Blur’s Parklife is blasting out of the tannoy as the Bristol City players congregate in the tunnel. Phil Daniels has just been rudely awakened by the dustmen.
Chelsea (4-4-2) Berger; Mjelde, Bright, Eriksson, Blundell; Kirby, Ji, Leupolz, Cuthbert; England, Kerr.
Substitutes: Telford, Thorisdottir, Ingle, Carter, Reiten, Fleming, Charles, Harder, Spence.
Bristol City (4-2-3-1) Baggaley; Allen, Matthews, Evans, Purfield; Palmer, Mastrantonio; Humphrey, Logarzo, Daniels; Wellings.
Substitutes: Haaland, Bryson, Rafferty, Salmon, Bissell, Wilson, Harrison, Layzell, Jones.
Hello. If you’re a potential title challenger, the first weeks of a new season are about statements as well as points. Arsenal made a mighty one by putting 15 goals past Reading and West Ham in their first two games; now Chelsea have the chance to respond at home to Bristol City.
Chelsea could have scored a few at Leigh Sports Village last week, but missed chances and were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United. This should – should – be a more comfortable afternoon against a team they have beaten heavily in recent seasons: the last three games between these sides finished 6-1, 4-0 and 6-0. Bristol City also started this season with a disappointing 4-0 defeat at home to Everton.
Pernille Harder, who came off the bench last weekend, could make her full debut for Chelsea. With or without Harder, they have plenty of firepower in Sam Kerr and the PFA player of the year Beth England. If Bristol City get a result today, it’ll be a famous one.
Kick off 12.30pm.