Lauren James has broken a Women’s Super League record after running the show against Liverpool on Saturday.
The Chelsea forward was on fire against the Reds at Stamford Bridge, as the Blues ran out 5-1 winners to go six points clear at the top of the WSL.
James, 22, scored a hattrick inside 64 minutes, with her first goal coming from a run started from 30-yards out before drilling a low shot home.
Sam Kerr assisted her second goal of the afternoon, with James then completing her first WSL hat-trick for Chelsea after getting on the end of a pull-back from substitute Johanna Rytting Kaneryd.
But James wasn’t done there.
The England international also assisted Aggie Beever-Jones’ goal that put Chelsea 2-1 back in front to cancel out Liverpool’s equaliser in the first half.
Her four goal contributions against the Reds makes James the youngest ever player to be involved in four goals in a single WSL game.
She now has four goals and one assist in six appearances so far this season in the WSL.
“I mean [she was] brilliant,” Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said after the game. “She’s someone we know that at her very best, and that was today her very best, the work rate she gives for the team out of possession is unbelievable.
“The number of pressing opportunities, she won a number of situations, she sacrificed herself to regain the ball for the team. The work off the ball was exceptional.
A hat-trick for James 🤩
On fire today 🔥#BarclaysWSL @ChelseaFCW pic.twitter.com/p0UyBnH0gc
— Barclays Women’s Super League (@BarclaysWSL) November 18, 2023
“On it, simply unstoppable.”
Since signing from Manchester United in 2021, James has won two WSL titles and two Women’s FA Cups with the Blues under Hayes, who is set to depart for a new opportunity at the end of the season.
Saturday’s victory was the first game since Hayes, who revealed she’d recently spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson about her Chelsea exit, confirmed she’d be leaving the club after 12 years.