In another week of WSL action, Manchester City travelled to London to face Chelsea in a potentially title deciding tie. Arsenal – who last week went to the top of the table – looked to secure three points against Reading in to keep the pressure on Chelsea who started the weekend in second with a game-in-hand.
Elsewhere in the Super League, Manchester United welcomed Everton to Leigh Sports Village in a mid-table clash, Birmingham and Bristol went head-to-head at the bottom of the table, Tottenham welcomed Brighton and Liverpool went up against 8th placed West Ham in a bid to add to their one point in 12th.
Chelsea complete the comeback
Bethany England and Maren Mjelde came up clutch for Chelsea this afternoon as they came from behind to beat Manchester City.
The first half was relatively quiet with both sides seem reluctant to commit players forward.
Chelsea looked the more threatening of the two – with City’s standout player, Ellie Roebuck, come to their rescue on several occasions with big saves.
It was Chelsea’s Mjelde who came closest to breaking the deadlock just before half-time, but her effort could only rattle the crossbar.
The woodwork came to City’s aid once again after the break, this time it was Ji’s low drive that hit the post. After soaking up the pressure from Hayes’ side, just five minutes later City went on to take the lead.
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Walsh’s impressive ball to Weir was controlled with ease and buried into the bottom corner to give City the edge going into the final half an hour.
Despite being on course for a crucial three points, City just couldn’t hold on and with 10 minutes to go Bethany England latched onto Ji’s parried effort to give Chelsea a deserved equaliser.
Just three minutes later Mjelde found herself on the end of England’s ball into the box leaving the former to guide home into a vacant goal.
The quick-fire double was enough to secure the three points and put daylight between Chelsea and City in the league – with the former still having a game-in-hand.
Miedema double sees Arsenal back on top
With Chelsea seeing off City and going back to the top of the table, Arsenal was faced with a resilient Reading side in a bid to regain their place on top.
It was strong from the home side who found themselves with two chances to go ahead early on – first Zinsberger saving Williams’ effort before Chaplen’s effort was dragged wide of the goal.
A quick turn over of possession showed how deadly Arsenal can be on the counterattack, with Van de Donk slipping the ball through to Dutch teammate Vivianne Miedema who – in her typical calmly manner – chipped the ball over Moloney in the Reading goal.
Less than ten minutes later Arsenal found the net once again with Wenger-Esque one-touch football on the edge of the box which saw the ball eventually fall to Kim Little, who lofted the ball over the head of Moloney and into the top corner.
A relatively solid defensive performance from Arsenal made it difficult for Reading to get back into the game with chances coming few and far between.
In spite of a sloppy performance at times, Arsenal wrapped up the points in the final minutes of the game was Moloney was subjected to yet another lobbed goal – allowing Miedema to get her second and Arsenal’s third of the day.
That win means Arsenal go two points clear at the top of the table as they continue to pile the pressure on Chelsea who has played one less game than them and trail by just two points.
United back up to 4th as Lauren James shines
Manchester United faced Everton and former assistant coach Willie Kirk with the majority of the action coming in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
It was Everton who took the lead inside the opening minutes as Magill’s header looked to be mishandled by Earps and – instead of punching clear – the ball bounced off her gloves and into the back of the net.
Kirk’s side wasn’t ahead for long though thanks to an electric attack from United which saw Sigsworth’s cross guided home by James within minutes of going behind. James’ inspired performance saw her glide into the box before she was brought down, resulting in a United penalty which Zelem converted comfortably.
United had the game wrapped up just before the half after a brilliant solo effort and finish from James, who curled the ball beyond Korpela leaving her with no chance.
Despite both sides having chances in the second half, neither of them could convert and the three points were United’s.
Elsewhere in the WSL
Tottenham Hotspur added another win to their existing three in a close affair with Brighton. Spurs created a number of chances but the crucial one came just before the hour mark after great work from Furness allowed her to find Neville with a low cross – the latter scoring at the second time of asking.
While Green and Umotong combined well throughout the game, Brighton was unable to create any clear-cut chances and struggled to threaten Spurs’ goal resulting in their 5th loss in nine, dropping to 10th in the league.
Birmingham continued to build momentum as they picked up a win away to Bristol thanks to goals from Grant and Whipp.
Whipp’s early effort lobbed the diving Baggaley who stood no chance as the ball floated into the top corner. Both sides struggled with their defending at times with goal-mouth scrambles at both ends of the pitch.
Despite the attacking efforts of Chance, Wellings and Pattison – Birmingham wrapped up the game not long from the end thanks Grant’s near-post finish that cruelly deceived the keeper, giving the away side their second win of the season and moving them up to 9th.
Finally, Liverpool welcomed a West Ham side looking for their fourth win of the season which would’ve seen them move up to 7th in the table, level with Spurs on point.
It looked as though they were destined to do so thanks to an exciting opening few minutes which saw Leon give them the lead thanks to a deflected effort. While the Hammers dominated the first half, Liverpool stepped it up in the second half.
The Reds were presented with the perfect opportunity to get back into the game after Roberts was brought down in the area by Vetterlein, resulting in a penalty. Lawley stepped up but saw her effort roll wide of the goal. Just 10 minutes from the end, however, when Lawley’s deflected cross fell into the path of Charles who poked home giving Liverpool an all-important point in their bid for Super League survival.
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