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Chelsea players and staff proudly sported ‘Back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back’ t-shirts as they celebrated their WSL trophy win at a sunlit Old Trafford. The 6-0 triumph over Manchester United marked Chelsea’s fifth consecutive league title and the seventh under Emma Hayes’ twelve-year tenure, a feat that almost slipped away amid unexpected challenges.

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Despite Chelsea’s initial setback against Liverpool in May, where Hayes herself deemed the title race in favor of Manchester City, fate took a turn with City’s late collapse against Arsenal. Chelsea capitalized on this, clinching a crucial victory against Tottenham Hotspur to draw level on points with City going into the final day.

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However, the season wasn’t without hurdles. Injuries to key players like Sam Kerr and Mia Fishel, coupled with the transition of new talents like Catarina Macario and Lauren James, tested Chelsea’s resolve. Moreover, Hayes’ impending departure to the United States Women’s National Team added pressure to their campaign.

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Reflecting on her departure, Hayes confessed to feeling “exhausted” after her final match at Chelsea. She expressed relief at leaving the day-to-day challenges of club management behind and looked forward to the quieter pace of international football.

Hayes’ legacy at Chelsea is profound, transforming the club from perennial contenders to dominant forces in women’s football. From humble beginnings in 2013 to winning multiple league titles and FA Cups, her impact has been monumental. Despite falling short in the Champions League, Hayes’ contributions to the game have been recognized with numerous accolades and awards.

As she embarks on her new journey, Hayes leaves behind a legacy of empowerment and inspiration, paving the way for future generations of female coaches and players. Her remarkable tenure at Chelsea has not only elevated the club’s stature but has also redefined the possibilities for women in football.

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