EMMA HAYES hailed her players for beating Birmingham City 5-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Drew Spence turns 50th Goal in a Blues jersey was among the efforts that helped them get closer to winning the trophy for the fourth time.
Earlier this month, Hayes insisted it would be business as usual when asked if the sale of Chelsea would be a distraction for their side.
And they went ruthless on the pitch with a clinical performance in front of goal.
Hayes switched her offensive lineup with Beth England, Ji So-yun and Spence from the start while Erin Cuthbert and Sam Kerr sat on the bench.
The Blues boss said: “The challenge of rotating a team is being able to perform at the same level.
“Sometimes this year the team knows when I wasn’t happy with their performance after the change.
“But after that game, I was happy that we learned the lessons of the past about what you have to do to knock down the opponent.
“We took a 1-0 lead in the first half.
“But we trained them so hard that we worked so hard until the second half to create chances.
“And as for Drew, she’s a legend at this club and I’m delighted that she’s scoring her 50th goal.”
The last time the league champions faced a top-flight Midlands side, it took them 92 minutes to get the winning goal in a 1-0 defeat by AstonVilla.
That encounter was a different matter altogether, however, as the league leaders scored an opener much earlier against their injury-stricken opponent.
Magda Eriksson’s goal minutes before half-time rewarded the hosts for their dominance of possession and early shots.
Birminghamwho withstood a barrage had a good chance of netting early with Lucy Quinn’s half-volley in the seventh minute.
But after that it was mostly one-way traffic, Millie Bright hit the post in the 18th minuteth Minute.
And England went out after about half an hour before Eriksson nodded home. Chelsea increased the pressure in the second half.
And “Champions of England, you can’t sanction that” was among the chants sung by fans in Kingsmeadow as their side continued to advance.
There were just over 1,000 in attendance as the club had banned ticket sales due to government sanctions against the Blues’ current owner.
Spence doubled Chelsea’s lead with a shot into the far corner around the 55thth Minute.
And the Blues midfielder nearly sealed a brace after attempting to round goalkeeper Marie Hourihan but fended off England with the back heel to score Chelsea’s third home goal instead.
Niamh Charles sent a header over Hourihan at around 65th minute when last year’s cup winners made it to four.
Shortly after England scored their brace, Chelsea advanced to Monday’s semi-final tie with a 5-0 win.
With their FA Cup Journey over Birmingham will focus on staying up
However, the team has suffered a fitness blow as several first-team aces have been sidelined, including centre-back Harriet Scott.
Birmingham boss Darren Carter said: “We miss Jade Pennock and are adding Louanne Worsley, Sarah Ewens and Lucy Whipp.
“And we only released Emily Ramsay on Saturday but she hasn’t trained.
“We’ve been cursed a bit with injuries in recent weeks and when you come to Chelsea you’re going to face it even with a full-strength side.
“But with limited depth it’s always going to be a real challenge so it’s a difficult time for us at the moment.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/18012862/chelsea-birmingham-womens-fa-cup/ Spence and England are among the scorers as Hayes’ aces advance to the FA Cup semi-finals