Chelsea tasted defeat for the first time this season as early league leaders Arsenal left Kinsgsmeadow with a resounding 5-0 win.

The game was as one-sided as the scoreline suggests with the Gunners utterly dominant over a poor Chelsea side.

The performance led Blues manager Emma Hayes to claim: “In the key moments of the game when it was time for us to execute we didn’t; we haven’t been clinical enough, and nor have we been good enough defensively today.”

It was Chelsea who arguably had the better of the opening exchanges. Adelina Engman and Fran Kirby had opportunities to score before Engman brought down Emma Mitchell in the box on 21 minutes. Kim Little made no mistake in finding the right-hand corner of Carly Telford’s net.

Chelsea nearly drew level ten minutes later but Ramona Bachmann’s lofted ball from the right rebounded agonizingly off the crossbar to the relief of the Gunners. The away side who doubled their lead eight minutes before the break via in-form striker Vivianne Miedma. The 22-year-old Dutchwoman bore down on goal after being released by Little, and saw her low shot deflected in off the unfortunate Magdalena Eriksson.

The game was all but over seven minutes after the restart, Jordan Nobbs seeing her strike from the right-hand side loop over the head of Telford and into the net, sending the vociferous Arsenal supporters into delirium.

Three became four just five minutes later and it was Miedma with her second, turning home smartly after the ball was played back by Beth Mead, who had seen her initial shot well saved.

Arsenal were rampant and fully deserving of their fifth goal on 67 minutes. Mead picked up the ball on the right and played it in behind the Chelsea defence for Nobbs to roll the ball in at the near post to cap off a fine individual display.

The result leaves Chelsea six points behind the Gunners, but Hayes insisted that there are many twists and turns yet to come in the season.

“The league is too topsy-turvy to be over. I think Arsenal are in the driving seat for sure, but there will still be surprise results,” said Hayes.