The excitement at the top of the Women’s Super League table reached a new level as Chelsea were dealt a shock defeat at the hands of Reading.
The reigning champions were stumped by the Royals while leaders Arsenal extended their cushion to four points after a convincing win over Leicester.
Manchester City managed to claw back a win against Birmingham, who took the lead twice in a five-goal thriller.
City’s neighbours also bagged an important three points. Manchester United secured a 2-0 win away from home against Brighton.
Tottenham Hotspur continue to be the dark horses of the season as they jump into third place following a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, while West Ham and Everton shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
GiveMeSport Women has selected one player who stood out from each fixture over the weekend.
Deanne Rose (Reading 1-0 Chelsea)
While this may not have been a high-scoring, action-packed match, this was one of the main talking points of the weekend.
Chelsea, who recently thwarted Arsenal to win the FA Cup, could not carry their success into the WSL.
After just four minutes, Deanne Rose put Reading ahead thanks to a terrific run and a cool, composed finish inside the box.
The forward had an ambush of Chelsea defenders closing in on her as she drove the ball forward, but she kept level-headed and secured the fourth win of the season for the Royals.
Hayley Ladd (Brighton 0-2 Man United)
After a defeat to Arsenal in the WSL and then being knocked out of the Continental Cup at the hands of Leicester, Man United were in need of a positive result to get back on track.
It was a big ask against Brighton, who have been in strong form this season. But thanks to Hayley Ladd and Vilde Bøe Risa, the Reds clinched an important three points towards their Champions League endeavour.
Ladd was a standout player for United — not only did she score the opening goal on the stroke of half-time, but she put in a solid display all over the pitch.
According to FotMob, the midfielder made four key passes, one clearance, and completed 100 percent of her attempted tackles.
Mackenzie Arnold (Everton 1-1 West Ham)
This match was a huge opportunity for Everton, who have struggled with results this season. Despite the Toffees making some statement signings over the summer, they’ve not found the form many predicted ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
With a point to prove, Everton set out to claim a win on home soil, which is why West Ham goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold stood out most in this game.
The Australian made five important saves for the Irons to keep the scoreline even — including two diving saves. She also made five punches and completed ten accurate long balls.
Despite not winning the match, it was another positive outcome for West Ham, who are currently seventh in the table and climbing it steadily.
Georgia Stanway (Birmingham City 2-3 Man City)
In a Man City side plagued with injury, players like Georgia Stanway are having to step up and contribute to other areas on the pitch.
Once again playing in defence, the England international put in a solid shift to help bank her side a much-needed win.
Stanway scored the first for the Citizens after Birmingham went ahead through a Christie Murray penalty. Despite playing across the backline, she made her only shot of the game count with a goal to even the scoreline.
The winger turned full-back made several attempts to orchestrate attacking play — contributing two keys passes and nine accurate long balls.
She also put in some good work at the back too, despite the away team conceding two. Stanway completed 100 percent of her attempted tackles and made one interception.
Jessica Naz (Aston Villa 1-2 Spurs)
Spurs continued their impressive run in the WSL and moved up into third, leapfrogging Brighton. The North Londoners are now just four points behind reigning champions Chelsea in second.
It was another big result for Tottenham and young forward Jessica Naz played a big part in it.
Despite initially going 1-0 down to Aston Villa, Spurs kept their composure and managed to pull it back on either side of the break.
After a Kyah Simon penalty evened the score, Naz provided an assist for the second goal to snatch all three points for the Lilywhites.
Naz also provided three key passes and completed two out of three attempted tackles, showcasing her work ethic to defend as well as attack.
Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal 4-0 Leicester)
Jordan Nobbs was instrumental in Arsenal’s 4-0 win, which was not only important for the team but huge for the player herself.
The midfielder has been snubbed of chances in both the Arsenal and England squad recently, but this performance was one to put the playmaker back on the radar.
Nobbs opened up the scoring in the 22nd minute before turning provider to assist substitute Frida Maanum deep into the second half.
In the build up to Euro 2022, performances like these could be crucial in Nobbs earning herself a spot in the England squad next year.