Lauren James hat trick helps Chelsea beat Man United


Lawson: Chelsea at their vintage best in win over Man United

Sophie Lawson reacts to Chelsea's 3-1 WSL victory over Manchester United, as Lauren James stars with a hat trick.

Chelsea forward Lauren James scored a superb hat-trick to help her side secure a 3-1 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and remain clear at the top of the Women's Super League but it was far from plain sailing for the hosts.

James got her first goal in the fifth minute with a close-range finish and doubled the tally with a superb first-time strike midway through the first half.

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The visitors pulled a goal back through Hayley Ladd two minutes before the break and dominated much of the second half, with the referee denying them two strong shouts for penalties.

That set the scene for 22-year-old James to net her third four minutes from time to leave Chelsea on 28 points, three ahead of second-placed Arsenal after 11 games.

Bristol City missed the chance to move off the bottom when they conceded a stoppage-time goal at Brighton to slump to a 3-2 defeat that leaves them behind West Ham, who host Tottenham in the late game, on goal difference.

The WSL resumed on Friday after the winter break with Aston Villa winning 1-0 at Leicester City, while Arsenal beat Everton 2-1 on Saturday.