Category Archives: women’s football

FA Womens Football Weekend Round up

Womens Football took centre stage this weekend with the FA’s Women’s Football Weekend. A thrilling Manchester derby, Second City derby and a London derby all part of this weekends action.

Second City is Blue

Villa Park was the venue for the Second City derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City. Villa had the first chances, Birmingham failing to fully clear a corner but a tame shot went wide. Villa had real chance to break the deadlock when Shania Hayles dispossessed Rachel Corsie on the edge of the box. Hayles’ shot though was straight at Birmingham keeper Hannah Hampton.

Birmingham’s first chance came from Mollie Green, a curling effort from the edge off the box taken comfortably by Lisa Weiss in the Villa goal. Green had another chance after being played in behind the Villa defence. Again though an easy one for the Villa Keeper.

The Blues continued to look for the opener in the second half. A poor clearance from the Villa keeper found Mollie Green but her shot went wide. Villa’s first chance of the second half came from a free kick out on the right. Whipped high towards the far post the ball was met on the volley by Marisa Ewers, but once again the shot was wide.

The deadlock was broken on 72 minutes by Birmingham with Claudia Walkers fifth goal of the season. Lucy Whipp crossing from the byline, Elisha N’Dow’s headed clearance only found Walker who smashed her shot on to the underside of the bar and in the back of the net.

Despite pressing for an equalizer Birmingham disciplined performance restricted Villa to a few half chances. A good day for the blue side of the City this weekend.

Saturday’s other matches saw Everton and Reading draw 1-1. Everton open the scoring on 39 minutes thanks to Simone Magill. Some good interplay from Everton down the right saw Nicoline Sorenson in space inside the box. Her shot was saved by Reading keeper Grace Moloney, but the loose ball was headed in by Magill. Reading leveled before half time. Jess Fishlock long pass found Welsh team-mate Natasha Harding free on the right. Harding lifted the ball over into the far corner of the goal. Both teams pushed for a winning goal in the second half.

First Point for Bristol City

Bristol City hosted Tottenham and Bristol took the lead on 37 minutes from a Chole Logarzo penalty. A back heel from Ebony Salmon found Florence May Allen in the box, she was brought down by Siri Worm. Bristol who were hit for 8 last week by Man City couldn’t hold on to the lead. Just five minutes late it was Worm getting Tottenham level. With a free-kick deep on the right side her curling cross flew past everyone in to the net.

Tottenham took the lead on 64 minutes Worm involved again. A floated cross into the box was headed in from close range by Ashleigh Neville. Rianna Dean got a straight red for a late challenge on Bristol keeper sophie Baggaley. Bristol were able to clam their first point of the season with a second in stoppage time. A hopeful long ball from Jemma Purfield found Ebony Salmon who had got ahead of the Spurs defence. As the ball came down she fired it into the net to make it 2-2.

Arsenal Miss Chance to go Top

Arsenal missed a chance to go top on Sunday after drawing at home with Chelsea. Arsenal hit the bar twice from Foord’s long range effort latching on to a loose pass from Sophie Ingle. The shot bouncing off the bar twice before Chelsea cleared.

The first chance in the second half fell to Chelsea with Beth England shooting over the bar. Katie McCabe made an important block from a shot form Erin Cuthbert. Arsenal had the lead on 86 minutes as Miedema beat Millie Bright for pace down the left. Miedema played the ball across the box for Beth mead to put the ball into the net. Chelsea levelled on 90 minutes, Pernille harder whipping a cross from the by-line which took a wicked defection of Carlotte Wubben-Moy.

The draw means Arsenal stay second a point behind Manchester United. Chelsea are third but have a game in hand which if they win could see them go top.

Sundays other game saw Brighton beat West Ham by a goal to nil. Rianna Jarrett getting the only goal of the game on 69 minutes. Lifting the ball over the Hammers keeper, Jarrett headed in from close range. Brighton are eighth on eight points while West Ham are ninth on four points.

Thrilling Manchester Derby ends all square

Kirsty Hanson came off the bench to secure a crucial 2-2 draw for Manchester United, in an absorbing WSL Manchester Derby contest.

The build up to the game was all about how United could potentially close the gap to the big three sides following their terrific 1-0 victory Arsenal last weekend. 

Indeed, Casey Stoney just made one change from that impressive display last weekend, with Jess Singsworth coming in to the Red Devils midfield in place of Kirsty Hanson.

It was, however, City who took the early initiative in the derby encounter as Georgia Stanway caused Stoney’s side a number of problems and forced a relatively cheep corner.

What followed was Chloe Kelly opening the scoring for Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City after United’s failure to deal with the resulting corner. The former Everton striker was able to produce a clever finish into the far corner past the goalkeeper Mary Earps. 

The England striker has been particularly impressive for her new club having scored four WSL goals already this campaign in six league appearances. 

Following the opening goal, City completely controlled the first half with American Sam Mewis once again impressing in midfield. Taylor’s side created a number of chances to put the game beyond the Red Devils.  Former United captain and City defender Alex Greenwood particularly causing problems with her deliveries from set pieces. 

The best of the chances fell to Stanway in the 30thminute, when she ended up taking one touch too many while one on one with Earps, who subsequently made an important save. 

Indeed, just when United thought they would get to half time with only a 1-0 deficit, in first half added time Laura Coombs produced terrific shot from the edge of the area giving Earps absolutely no chance.  

Coombs’ strike made it three goals in her last three games for the midfielder and meant that City held a 2-0 lead at half time in the derby.  

Hanson subsequently came on for Singsworth at half time for the Red Devils in a bid to halt City’s first half momentum. The change certainly produced the reaction that Stoney would have wanted. 

The new Red Devils’ NWSL signing, Tobin Heath produced an unbelievable strike giving Ellie Roebuck no chance in the City goal to half the deficit.  

From there, United continued to increase the pressure on City goal and there efforts were rewarded through substitute Hanson, who bundled in a corner, which the defence failed to deal with.

The home side could have snatched what would have been an unlikely winner at half time, as full back Demi Stokes made a crucial goal line clearance to deny Stoney’s United in second half injury time.

The game, however, finished with both Manchester clubs having to be content with a point a piece.

Derby Reaction

Manchester United Manager Casey Stoney told BT Sport:

 “It [being top of the table] doesn’t matter, it’s November.

“It’s about performing and being at that consistent level week in week out.

That first half was enough motivation to make sure we keep going.

“That second half performance was for our fans, to make sure we got that result in the Manchester derby which is really important for them.

Manchester City’s midfielder and player of the match, Sam Mewis said:

“What we did in the first half was working, but I give Man Utd a lot of credit, they did well [to come back]. It’s testament to the derby and the rivalry.

“I’m definitely feeling the animosity. I was fighting back at the end, and had this feeling of pride for City and wanted to win.

“We’re still growing, we have so much potential as a group, and every game is a learning opportunity for us.

What next?

United’s next WSL game sees them travel to newly promoted Aston Villa on Saturday 5thDecember.  Before then, however, they have another encounter with Taylor’s City in the Continental Tyres League Cup match on Thursday night.   

For City, meanwhile, they travel to Everton in the WSL on Sunday 6thDecember and remain five points behind their city rivals in fifth.

Magdalena Eriksson commits to Chelsea Women

Chelsea Women’s club captain Magdalena Eriksson has committed her long-term future to last season’s 2019/20 WSL Champions. 

Eriksson has signed a two-and-a- half-year contract extension, keeping her with the West London side until 2023. 

The Swedish International joined the West London side in 2017, following a four-year spell at Linkopings in Sweden and has developed into a leader on and off the pitch.

Her impressive leadership persuaded Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes to make Eriksson club captain ahead of the 2019/20 campaign. 

During her first season as skipper, the 27 year-old defender led her side to a domestic double, winning the Continental Tyres League Cup before being crowned Barclays FA Women’s Super League Champions, just ahead of Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City. 

Speaking to the Chelsea website, Eriksson said:

“It means everything to me to be at this club, there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be.”

Eriksson continued:

“The last three years have been the absolute biggest of my career.

“I’m really happy, the way I’ve developed as a player as well and as a leader, getting the armband last year has developed me as a person and a footballer a lot.” 

Chelsea’s General Manager Paul Green meanwhile added:

“Magda led by example both on and off the pitch and has formed a terrific partnership with Millie Bright over the last few years. 

“We look forward to many more successful years with Magda at the club.” 

The Blues currently sit in third place in the WSL table, having won four and drawn one of their first five games. 

The defending champions, however, face a potentially tricky trip to fierce London rivals Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 1-0 defeat to Manchester United last weekend.   

WSL Update: Manchester United top Women Super League

Manchester United went top of the Women’s Super League after beating Arsenal 1-0. Chelsea hit four past Everton to go third. Bristol City, who were missing five first team players, went down 8-1 at Manchester City.

United go top of the WSL for the first time

Christen Press had the first big chance for The Red Devils forcing a outstanding save from Manuela Zinsberger. The ball finding Press inside the Arsenal box she brings the ball down and shooting on the turn only finding the outstretched leg of the Arsenal keeper.

United continued to attack the Arsenal goal, Hayley Ladd winning a strong challenge on the edge of the box allowing Ella Toone to shoot. The shot was straight at Zinsberger but warning signs were there for The Gunners.

Tobin Heath then found the side netting in the second half. Cutting inside from the left Heath’s run into box gave her a shooting chance but she could only find the side of the goal.

United were almost made to pay for their missed chances. Kim Little cross from the left was met at the near post by Caitlin Foord but her effort was well stopped by Mary Earps. The United keeper was called on again from another Arsenal move down the left. A low cross was turned towards goal by United defender Amy Turner, Earps’ reaction save meaning only a corner.

United got the only goal of the game after 83 minutes, Lauren James set Jessica Sigsworth off down the United right. Sigsworth dinked the ball past Viktoria Schnaderbeck and then out paced her into the box. Looking up and finding Ella Toone who’s shot went in off the post.

A fifth win for United to take them top of the WSL and keep their unbeaten league run going. Arsenal drop to second after their first defeat.

Defending Champions secure big win over The Toffees

Chelsea are third after a big win over Everton. Everton had the first big chance of the game, a poor clearance from near the corner by Berger found Egurrola just inside the Chelsea half. With the keeper out of her goal, the Everton midfielder went for goal but her shot was wide.

Chelsea’s opener came as they pressed Everton high up the pitch. Sandy Maciver attempted to clear the ball but her kick struck Beth England and fell to Ji so-Yun who volleyed the ball into the net.

Chelsea made it two after a subline flick from Melanie Leupolz found England who shot low into the near post. Chelsea’s third came after Erin Cuthbert’s shot was turned onto the bar by Maciver. England was the fastest to react heading home from close range.

Pernille Harder made it four in added time to wrap up the game. Playing a one-two with England on the edge of the box then putting a left footed effort into the top corner.

Everton’s first WSL defeat now sees them now in fourth place, Chelsea moving above them on goal difference.

The Hammers secure their first win of the season

West Ham came from behind to beat Birmingham 2-1. Following a long ball from Mollie Green, Claudia Walker found herself through on goal and she shotted her shot into the bottom corner.

West Ham drew level just before the break Walker turning in to her own net. Martha Thomas flicking on Adrina Leon’s cross and Walker turning it in. West Ham took the lead on 73 minutes, Rachel Daley’s floated cross headed in by Emily van Egmond. This ensured The Hammers of their first win after four defeats.

First WSL victory for newly promoted Villa

Two second half goals gave Aston Villa their first win beating Brighton 2-0. After putting Brighton under pressure Villa got the first goal from Anita Asante, lifting the ball over a crowd of players into the far corner.

Villa made sure of the points in stoppage time Ramona Petzelberger lobbing the keeper. Villa have two games in hand and could rise above Reading in sixth if they are able to win them.

Alex Morgan makes first WSL appearance in Spurs draw

Reading drew 1-1 away at Tottenham. Reading took the lead after Jess Fishlocks pass found Emma Mitchell in space down the right hand side. Mitchells cross was met by Brook Chaplen inside the six yard box. Ashleigh Neville scored the equaliser for Spurs, heading in from Rianna Deans flick on. USWNT Star Alex Morgan came off the bench to make her Tottenham debut, but neither side could find a winning goal.

Newly crowned FA Cup winners put eight past Bristol City

Bristol City were without five players due to COVID protocols. They had asked the FA to postpone their match against Manchester City, their request was turned down.

A trip to the Academy Stadium hard enough as it is without gifting City the lead. An own goal from Sophie Baggaley after 9 minutes. A poor pass at the back by City let Ebony Salmon level for Bristol. A spirited Bristol side were torn apart three times in four minutes before halftime. Goals from Laura Coombs (39′), Keira Walsh (42′) and Lucy Bronze (43′) giving City a 4-1 halftime lead. City scored another four in the second half with Georgia Stanway (48′), Ellen White (58′ & 85′) and Janine Beckie (81′).

Next Weekends fixtures sees Manchester United host rivals City. Villa Park will host the Birmingham derby, Arsenal host Chelsea, Everton are at home to Reading. Bristol City will host Tottenham and West Ham are at home to Brighton.

Womens FA Cup Final Preview

Everton V Manchester City

This Sunday will see the Womens FA Cup Final from Wembley between Everton and Manchester City. A cup final in November is something new as last season FA Cup will come to its conclusion. The competition was at the Quarter Final stage when the FA ruled there would be no restart to the women’s game after lockdown. Finally, however, the FA Cup is to be concluded.

Road to Final

Everton came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the quarter finals. After Erin Cuthbert gave Chelsea an early lead goals from Lucy Graham and Valerie Gauvin sent them though. Another goal from Gauvin plus goals form Nicoline Sorensen and Simone Magill ensured a 3-0 semi final win over Carla Ward’s Birmingham City.

City, meanwhile, knocked out Championship side Leicester in the quarter final winning 2-1. A penalty from Chloe Kelly and a Georgia Stanway goal in the first half proving enough despite Charlie Devlin’s 78 minute penalty for Leicester. Steph Houghton gave City the lead in the semi final against Arsenal with a stunning free kick. That was cancelled out by a Jordan Nobbs strike. Sam Mewis restored the lead three minutes later and City comfortably saw out the game.

Current Form

Everton are currently second in the WSL with six wins and one draw. Two big away wins have helped them, however, a four nil at Bristol City and six nil at Aston Villa.

These side have met this season in the Continental League Cup. Danielle Turner gave Everton the lead on 20 minutes, but City staged a second half come back. Rose Lavelle, Chloe Kelly, and Jessica Park securing a 3-1 victory.

After losing to Chelsea in the Community Shield, City won their opening WSL game. They were then held to a shock draw at home by Brighton but bounced back with a win against Spurs. In the last two WSL matches City lost 3-1 at Chelsea and were held to a 1-1 draw at Reading, leaving them 5th in the league.

Managers Thoughts

Everton manager Willie Kirk spoke ahead of the game of wanting to win trophies and using the Cup Final to build success for the club:

“We are building a group of winners and Sunday can be a launchpad for success in the next five years. The players felt when this competition was resurrected it was written in the stars (they would reach the final).

“We did fantastically well against Chelsea and the belief grew and grew”.

“The Challenge for me is to make sure we are not happy just being at Wembley because we have reached our objectives. We want to go one better. There is no point going to Wembley unless you’re going to win”.

Kirk is under no illusions of the challenge his side face this weekend:

“We have to play at our absolute best levels to get success on Sunday.

“We are determined to get back to the days of Everton winning silverware and this is huge for us. It would be even bigger managing to topple one of the teams who are serial trophy winners but winning it regardless of who it is against, would be massive for this club”.

City boss Gareth Taylor also described the prospect of winning the FA Cup as

“One of the biggest things I’ve done.

“It would mean a lot to win the trophy”.

The City manager has said everyone has their part to play if they are to win:

“Everyone wants to be involved on Sunday and everyone will be involved – whether they start the game, are on the bench or even in the stand.

“Everyone has a role to play, its about supporting the team, making sure the team comes first and then going there and competing to bring home a trophy.

“We have a squad of really good players, who want to be part of it, making a difference out there and that’s great for me as a manager.

“We have some good selection choices to make in lots of positions and that’s what you want”.

He also talked about his side being labelled as the favourites for this game:

“I can understand why we’re favorites – when it comes to Cup Finals, there’s often a favorite and an underdog – but its a one-off game and we’ve worked hard to get there”.

Key Players

Everton midfielder Lucy Graham is enjoying a fine start to the season with four goals in five games. Also chipping in with two assists. She will need to be sharpe defensively against the many options Man City have in the middle of the park. The Scotland international has the chance to be the first Everton player to lift the FA Cup since 2010.

Striker Chloe Kelly has manged four goals in her last five games for City. Kelly was an Everton player last season and even featured for them in the earlier rounds. (Players would not normally be able to play for two sides in the FA Cup, but as the competition is being finished this season it is allowed). Speaking to BBC Sport ahead of the game Chloe said:

“I’m absolutely buzzing and can’t wait to get going”.

How To Watch

The match will be played at Wembley but will be behind closed doors. Its a shame as last years final saw a crowd of 43,264 watch Man City beat West Ham 3-0. With the popularity of the Women’s game growing another big crowd would be expected.

The game is being shown live by both BBC One and on BT Sport. Kick off is at 14:00 Sunday 1st November.

Prediction; Everton 1 v 2 Manchester City

Both teams want to win this trophy and will give it everything. Everton have been in great form and it won’t be easy for City. Given their last few results City will want to win and hopefully kick start them moving up the WSL.