BY PAUL LAGAN
Fran Kirby smashed in her 50th and 51st goals for Chelsea last night in the 6-0 thrashing of SFK 2000 Sarajevo in the Champions League at Kingsmeadow and said that she hopes to make it 100 goals this season.
Okay, he did laugh out loud when she said it, but it more than demonstrated that ‘Mini Messi’ is feeling confident again having gone through a fallow period – for her – as the Blues could only manage three 0-0 draws in a row in the WSL 1 stakes this term.
Chelsea face Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday and Kirby is ready to strike again.
She said: “Obviously I haven’t scored as much as I would have liked to, but I‘d like to think I was creating things for the team, and that’s the main thing, not the 50th goal. But naturally I was delighted.”
She puts the wait for the goal down to the opposition become cuter in their tactics to thwart the league and FA cup winners.
“I think obviously we have had a difficult time breaking the low block,” she said.
“I haven’t being hitting |the target myself, so I can’t say too much about it. I just haven’t been able to find the back of the net. But on Wednesday night, the service was good.
And I’m feeling a bit more confident.”
Kirby joined the Blues in 2015 and her 50th goal was a trademark sprint through the defence, round the keeper and slot home.
“I saw her come out quite quickly,” said the 25-year-old.
“I knew that she would from watching her on video a few times, So I thought I needed to get a big touch to round her. She comes out really wide and spreads herself well. So when I went round her, all I had to do was put the ball in the back of the net.
“It was a massive relief to score. But I now want to carry on from last season, scoring goals and creating opportunities. I was probably more happier with giving Drew (Spence) her goal – it was the first of the night, which settled the nerves and gets everyone going.
“And that’s the main thing. We need to make sure different people are scoring, unlike last season. A few people got on the score sheet but it put quite a lot of pressure on myself.
“You know, I’m the centre forward for Chelsea Women and that’s just the pressure in itself. It’s not a case that I feel extra pressure, but when you are in a team like Chelsea, if you are not scoring, people are asking questions. So I just need to stay confident, create things, and I like to pride myself in my assists also, I try not to think too much about it
And when will the 100th goal be scored?
“By the end of the season, nah, kidding,” she laughed\
“I’m just going to take it as it comes, I’m delighted to get my 50th goal for Chelsea. It’s a real honour for me. And hopefully the goals will continue to come.
With a return to league action, Chelsea are playing catch-up to the likes of leaders Arsenal and the visit of Brighton to Kingsmeadow will be tough, thinks Kirby.
“Obviously it’s difficult, the league is getting better and better,” she said.
“Every team is now learning about us, they are low-blocking and making it difficult for us. We are trying to work out how we can beat that low block and every team is going to do that against us this year, apart from the likes of Man City and Arsenal. We need to work on it ourselves and on how we can break them down. We had a good result against Brighton here last time and hopefully we can continue with that.”
So no focus solely on the Champions League then – to better last season’s semi-final slot?
“No, absolutely not. We want to win everything, we want to win the league, the FA Cup, the Continental (Tyres) Cup, The Champions League.
“We will take every game as it comes and now the Champions League goes to the back of our minds and we now have to really focus on the league, on Sunday against Brighton and get the three points