Hayes labels James 'most naturally gifted player' in WSL

Emma Hayes labelled Lauren James "the most naturally gifted player in the country" after the Chelsea forward's unplayable display in Saturday's 5-1 win over Liverpool.

James scored her first WSL hat-trick at Stamford Bridge and had a hand in the other two goals as Matt Beard's Reds were put to the sword on a dreary afternoon in west London.

"The work Lauren did out of possession was outstanding," Hayes said in her post-match press conference.

"The way she back-pressed, the way she counter-pressed, the way she shut off the pitch in the right moments. She dominated her duels, she did it for 90 minutes. I think she was selfless in her work. I thought it was outstanding.

"Her forward play was unstoppable, but she got herself into such great positions because of the work she did for the team off the ball."