Category Archives: WSL

Leicester City Win Promotion to FA WSL

Leicester City Women secured promotion to the WSL with a 2-0 win over London City Lioness on Sunday 4th April. Goals in the second half from Samantha Tierney and Natasha Flint ensured them of a historic win. It means the club will play in the WSL for the first time in their history.

With two games to go the Foxes have run away with the league having lost just one of their 18 games. They have been on a run of 12 straight wins as they secured the title at the weekend.

Leicester City Manager Jonathan Morgan, told LCFC TV after Sundays game:

“To say we are officially WSL, itโ€™s awesome really. We’ve got to the pinnacle of the women’s game in England and we just want to keep pushing ourselves and getting further and further with it and getting better and better.

“It’s been a long journey. It’s been seven years, where we were playing, in all honesty, off parks and out of tin sheds for changing rooms. I remember when I first started, I didn’t have even a squad. I think we only had 12 players, so to see that growth, it’s been a fantastic achievement.”

The club turned professional in August 2020 after being taken over by King Power (parent company of Leicester City). Leicester City will now be able to look forward to playing the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in the WSL next season.

Morgan hopes this will inspire more local girls to take up football saying:

“I think, for me, with the women’s game, itโ€™s still about growing it,” he explained. “It’s still about encouraging the next generation of young female athletes and now the girls of Leicester have got a top team in the best league to look up to and to aspire to.

“I think that does more wonders than anything that we can ever think about really.”

Leicester born defender Ashleigh Plumptre admitted to becoming emotional as they closed in on the victory against London City telling LCFC TV:

“I literally looked at the badge before I walked out and then, with five minutes to go, I looked at it again and I ended up tearing up when I was on the pitch with five minutes left!

ย “I don’t just play football just because I want to do well in it. I like to represent something that’s bigger than me and I’ve grown up here.

“I had to go away and then to America and then I’ve come back I’ve been able to come back to the only team that I wanted to come to. I’ve managed to do it with literally my hometown team. I have shirts [from] when I was like four years-old, going to games when the men were in the Championship.

“Now to think I’m representing my club, where I’m from, and to winโ€ฆ like I said, I play for something bigger than me and I play to win and to think that I’ve done that here, I literally cannot ask for anything better.”

Being the only fully professional side in the league gave Leicester added pressure, but Plumptre stated that just made the squad come together:

“Nobody wanted us to win really because we’re the only team that are fully professional. We’re provided with everything. So people want to get a one up on us and we’ve just got through all of it and now we’ve come out winners.

“Everybody’s in there celebrating together, and rightly so. It’s a season to be celebrated because I definitely think we deserve it. We’ve worked so hard and there were times where you can see it in the way that we play and the way that we talk to each other on the pitch.

“We gear each other up because we know that we can’t just win with 10, we just can’t win with 11, we have to win with everybody and, I put it out to all the girls, within the first five minutes, we were doing headers and clearances and I could hear the subs from the off.

“I really think, for me personally, it’s hard to get through a season with everything we’ve been through without things like that, without people being there when you need them. It’s not just the players, it’s the staff, too. It’s just been a huge collective effort and itโ€™s finally come to fruition.”

Leicester can look towards next season and playing in England’s top flight as they test themselves against some of the best players in the world.

FA WSL Round up: The Blues remain top of Women Super league

Champions Chelsea remain top of the WSL after two goals from Sam Kerr earned them a win over struggling Aston Villa.

Manchester City kept the gap at the top to two points with a 87 minute winner from Chloe Kelly helped them to a one nil win over Reading.

Manchester United, meanwhile, remain in third spot as Lauren James and Cristen Press scored in a two nil win over West Ham.

Arsenal also won the North London derby by three goals over Tottenham with goals from Caitlin Foord, Vivianne Miedema and Katie McCabe.

Elsewhere, Everton hit Brighton for five, Hayley Raso getting a hat trick, while Birmingham and Bristol City drew 1-1, with Bristol moving into tenth place.

Manchester United 2 – 0 West Ham United

It was a historic day for Manchester United as they played at Old Trafford for the first time.

United had an early chance as Lauren James turned on the edge of the box and looked to put the ball into the top corner. Her effort however was comfortable for West Ham keeper Courtney Brosnan.

West Ham’s Martha Thomas made a decent run at the home side defence but put her shot wide of the goal.

United took the lead not long after half time with James scoring. West Ham failed to clear a United corner, and Maria Thorisdottir headed back across the six yard box towards James who’s flicked header from close range found the net.

It was 2-0 just six minutes later with Press getting onto Jackie Groenen’s though ball. Groenen ran at the West Ham defence and despite having her shirt tugged was able to slide the ball into the box finding the run of Press who finished with the inside of her left foot.

The home side were in control of the second half were helped as Laura Vetterlein was shown a second yellow for cynical foul.

A good win for United on their first appearance at old Trafford, midfielder Ella Tonne living the dream told BBC Sport:

“As a Manchester United fan it was a dream come true to play on such an amazing pitch so it was a special occasion and I’m glad we went out there and got the three points.”

Manager Casey Stoney was more concerned with her side performance than the venue:

“We weren’t good in the first half – that was probably the worst I’ve seen us in a long, long time, so I think there was definitely a case of the occasion. That’s done now. They know what it’s like.

“Players know when they are not good enough. I said [at half-time] if you want to qualify for Champions League football, you have to play at a Champions League standard and we weren’t.

“When we started playing collectively in the second half we were better.”

Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 3 Arsenal

Arsenal secured 3-0 win over Tottenham in the North London Derby, which was played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Caitlin Foord linked with Noelle Martiz down the Tottenham right to give The Gunners the lead after 25 minutes.

Arsenal were on top as the first half went on with Jordan Nobbs twice trying from outside the box forcing Rebecca Spencer into action. Spencer making two good saves to keep her side in the game.

The visitors pressure did tell as Vivianne Miedema made it two nil. Katie McCabe’s whipped in a corner which was met on the volley by Miedema and riffled into the top corner.

McCabe made sure of the win with Arsenals third just after the hour. A poor pass from Abbie McManus allowed McCabe into the box and she put the ball past Spencer.

Tottenham had the chance to pull a goal back but were denied by a triple save from Manuela Zinsberger.

The win keeps Arsenal in fourth just three points of Manchester United with a game in hand.

Chelsea 2- 0 Aston Villa

Chelsea cruised to victory over Aston Villa with two goals from Sam Kerr.

Kerr’s first came after 24 minutes after Fran Kirby lifted the ball into the box and Kerr looped her header over Villa keeper Lisa Weiss.

It was Kirby and Kerr who combined for the second after 57 minutes. Kirby finding Kerr in space in the box and Kerr lifted her shot over the keeper.

Kerr had the chance of a hat trick after being played in by Harder but she sent her shot just wide.

Chelsea were always in control of this game but were unable to get a third goal.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes praised the duo of Kirby and Kerr:

“Both of them are in the form of their lives and that combination is dynamite, it’s telepathic. It’s rare in football to find those things. I know that they are going to get chances in every game and it’s about capitalising on those chances.”

Manchester City 1 – 0 Reading

City left it late to clam victory at home to Reading with Kelly scoring the winner in the 87th minute.

Rose Lavelle forced Grace Moloney into a good save as City looked to gain the advantage. Moloney had to sharpe again turning away Caroline Weir’s low effort.

Reading almost took the lead as Fishlock played Eikeland in and the Norwegian International forced a good save from Ellie Roebuck.

Kelly put a good low cross across the Reading six yard line, but Stanway subsequently put it wide. A real chance to give City the lead.

Lauren Hemp saw her effort come back off the post, again coming from a Chole Kelly cross across the Reading Box.

The second half started like the first as Moloney again denied Lavelle. The American shooting from the edge of the area only to see Moloney turn it away.

It was looking like a frustrating night for City as Weir then shot over the bar.

City did get their breakthrough in the 87th minute with Chole Kelly finishing. After a mesmerizing run from Lauren Hemp, who made her way past four Reading players. She squared the ball to give Kelly a tap in.

A vital win for City in their chase for the title but heart breaking for Reading who battled and defended so well for this game.

Brighton 0 – 5 Everton

Everton put in a dominant performance as they put five past Brighton.

A mix up in the Brighton defence saw Raso fouled and Everton win a penalty. Izzy Christiansen put the penalty into the bottom left corner, Megan Walsh went the right way but unable to stop it.

Hayley Raso made it two after running past several Brighton players into the box to poke the ball into the net.

Raso had her second just after the restart. Claire Emslie taking advantage of an error by Maya Le Tissier to give Raso a easy header on the line.

Simone Magill added a fourth after more sloppy defending from the home side. Raso then got her hat trick shooting though a crowd of players to wrap up a good away day for Everton.

Birmingham City 1 – 1 Bristol City

In a relegation battle Birmingham and Bristol hap to share the points. Ruesha Littlejohn tested City keeper Sophie Baggaley early on, the Bristol keeper pushing the long range effort over the bar.

Bristol took the lead on 13 minutes, Carla Humphrey’s initial effort blocked the ball fell to Charlie Wellings who turned the ball home.

Birmingham levelled on 58 minutes thanks to Christie Murray, firing a shot into the top corner from inside the box.

Theatre Of Dreams for United Women

Manchester United Women are set to play their first ever match at Old Trafford. United’s match against West Ham will be moved to The Theatre of Dreams instead of their usual home venue of Leigh Sports Village.

A gap in the Old Trafford schedule has allowed the switch to take place. The match is scheduled to take place on Saturday 27th March with a 11.30 am kick off.

United are third in the FA WSL and are currently chasing a Champions League place. The Red Devils still have an outside chance of catching league leaders Chelsea.

The match will be played behind closed doors so United will be unable to welcome their supporters but the move shows the club’s commitment to their women’s side.

United Manager Casey Stoney told manutd.com:

โ€œPlaying at Old Trafford will obviously be a special moment in the history of this team and itโ€™s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the womenโ€™s game, which has seen huge growth over the last few years.

“We, of course, will miss our fans. They are such an important part of this club and we have felt their amazing support from afar throughout the season.

“We are all eager to get them back in the stands as soon as possible and hope that there will be many more opportunities to play at Old Trafford in the future.โ€

Chief Operating Officer, Collette Roche added:

โ€œWe are thrilled to be hosting our womenโ€™s team at Old Trafford. The international break this month created a gap in this seasonโ€™s relentless programme at the stadium and we all agreed that this was the right time to welcome Casey and her squad to Old Trafford.

โ€œWe would have loved for fans to able to be there to witness this moment, but that time will come. For now, our preparations are in full swing as we set the stage to host our match with West Ham United next week”.

United to will travel to play fourth placed Arsenal on Friday 19th March before heading to Old Trafford the following week.

FA WSL round up: City come out on top in the Derby

Manchester City came out on top in the Manchester Derby on Friday night. Lucy Bronze and Laruen Hemp putting City two up, before a stunning chip from Caroline Weir made it 3-0.

Reading drew 1-1 with Everton after Rachel Rowe give the home side a 1-0 lead at half time. Denmark international Nicoline Sorensen got Everton’s equaliser after 77 minutes.

Elsewhere, in a preview to the Conti Cup Final Chelsea run riot and put five past Bristol City. Fran Kirby (2), Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr and Beth England all on the scoresheet for The Blues.

Finally Aston Villa’s home match against Arsenal was called off due to a frozen pitch.

Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United

On a bitterly cold night at The Academy Stadium Manchester United looked to stay above their City rivals.

In form Leah Galton was played in by Jackie Groenen, but Galton’s ball across the six yard box was cleared by Alex Greenwood.

The deadlock was broken in the 23rd minute by Lucy Bronze. United failed to clear Chole Kelly’s corner and the ball fell to Bronze who smashed the ball into the far corner.

Georgia Stanway’s cross almost caught out United Keeper Mary Earps going just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.

Hayley Ladd fired a shot wide as United looked for an equaliser. Kelly not clearing from a United free kick, the loose ball finding Ladd and shooting on the turn put the ball wide.

Ellen White forced Earps into a decent save with her overhead kick attempt. Kelly’s cross finding White who initial shot was blocked, White went for the spectacular with the rebound.

United were dealt another blow just before the break as Leah Galton was forced off. In an off the ball incident, the United player was helped from the field looking in some discomfort.

Earps was again called into action saving from White. Laruen Hemps low cross from the left finding White inside the box. The forward’s first time effort was pushed away by Earps.

United tried to get back into the game, Christen Press attempting a lob over a advancing Ellie Roebuck but she put her effort over.

Press saw another shot blocked by a combination of Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton.

City weathered the pressure from united and extended their lead on 71 minutes. Chole Kelly firing a shot which Earps pushed away but the ball found Hemp who’s left footed shot flicked off Amy Turner and into the goal.

Caroline Weir wrapped up the Derby win for City with a potential goal of the season. Picking up a loose ball Weir’s left footed chip went over the stretching Earps.

Caroline Weir scores stunning goal in Manchester Derby.

City pick up the win and move into second in the WSL table five points off leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.

Reading 1-1 Everton

Reading started brightly with Amalie Eikeland forcing a save from Everton keeper Korpela. Eikeland again could only find the gloves of Korpela with a long range shot straight at the keeper.

Eikeland was causing Everton problems as she hit the post after Rowe’s free kick. Natasha Harding then headed over form the rebound.

Readings pressure told after 34 minutes as Rachel Rowe put the home side ahead. Sam Carter was unable to put in from Lilly Woodham’s cross but the ball fell to Rowe who had on open goal to aim at.

Everton started to pressure the home side in the second half. With out troubling the goal Everton had several half chances but did get the equaliser. Nicoline Sorensen heading in after 77 minutes. Wold’s cross to the far post was met by Sorensen who headed in to level the game.

Neither side could find a second goal with both sides having some half chance efforts.

Bristol City 0-5 Chelsea

Chelsea put five past Conti Cup Final opponents Bristol City in a game that they dominated. The Blues had 24 attempts at goal with 9 on target.

Fran Kirby gave them a 14 minute lead before Harder made it two after 36 minutes. Kirby got her second to make it three nil before the break.

Goals from Sam Kerr and Beth England in the second half made it five for the Champions.

Chelsea’s lead at the top is five points, while Bristol sit bottom – two points behind West Ham United.

FA WSL round up: the blues bounce back to defeat london rivals

Chelsea bounced back from their loss to Brighton at the weekend with a thumping 3-0 win over Arsenal. Pernille Harder with two goals and a late third from Fran Kirby giving Emma Hayes’ side a three point lead at the top.

Elsewhere, meanwhile, Brighton carried on the momentum from their victory over Chelsea by beating West Ham by a goal to nil.

The second City derby due to be played was called off due to a frozen pitch, as was Tottenham match with Bristol City.

Chelsea 3 – 0 Arsenal

The perfect response from the champions after a shock defeat to Brighton, as they returned to winning ways.

Chelsea pressed high up the pitch early on and and Fran Kirby was able to win the ball in the corner. Linking up with Harder and Ji, Kirby had a shot on the turn but it went straight at Arsenal keeper Williams.

Chelsea high press put the Arsenal defence under pressure that Arsenal struggled to deal with. Wubben-Moy poor pass left Williams in trouble and her clearance fell to Melanie Leupolz who’s long range effort went well wide of the goal, as Williams scrambled to get back.

Arsenal had a great chance to take the lead but Miedema’s shot was well saved by Berger. Danielle van de Donk won the ball from Millie Bright and slipped in Miedema who worked her way into the box. Miedema’s left footed shot was met by the outstretched leg of Berger.

Fran Kirby went even closer to opening the deadlock with her strike being well saved down low by Williams. Getting the ball on the right Kirby cut inside and played a 1-2 with Leupolz and hit a first time effort towards the bottom corner. Williams down low to her right got a strong hand on the ball to turn it away.

The opening came three minutes after the break from Harder. Ji winning the ball and Kirby giving it to Harder who shot from outside the box. The ball bouncing just in front of the keeper and in to the bottom corner, for Harder’s fifth WSL goal of the season.

Kirby and Harder combined for Chelsea’s second. Kirby’s cut back inside the box was struck first time by Harder in to roof of the net.

Katie McCabe’s deflected effort almost pulled one back for Arsenal, but Berger at stretch was able to push the ball away from goal.

Kirby added a third on 90 minutes, coolly sliding the ball past Williams to make it 3-0.

Emma Hayes spoke after the game saying:

“Everybody knows what the standards are at Chelsea and it’s not always easy to live with.

“The pressure is relentless, the expectation is relentless, but it’s a place for the best to thrive, and only the best, with the highest standards, keep this dream machine flying.

“Those are my demands and I won’t compromise on that. To see the response from the team shows where the team wants to go.”

Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro:

“I think if we analyse this game too much it will drive us crazy because there wasn’t a lot wrong with that other than they scored three goals and we scored none.

“It’s very hard to keep analysing these games because we play a bit more pragmatic and then they hurt us another way – they are a very, very good team with some powerful players and it’s the quality of them that has unlocked us today.

“Mathematically there is still a lot to play for us, but sometimes realistically you have to set yourself different targets. We have a Champions League spot to play for and two games in hand to help get us there.”

Brighton 1 – 0 West Ham United

Brighton got back to back wins for the first time this season with a 1-0 win over West Ham. Aileen Whelan’s first half goal helping Brighton victory.

Brighton started brightly, playing with confidence but were unable to create a real threat to Mackenzie Arnold’s goal.

West Ham could have gone ahead as Laura Vetterlein’s header was cleared on the line by Maya Le Tissier.

Arnold had to be at her best as Nora Heroum’s looping effort headed towards the top corner. The West Ham keeper quick to react and tip over.

Brighton got the lead thanks to Whelan’s outstretched leg. Megan Connolly’s corner wasn’t cleared and flicked to Whelan who’s outstretched right leg sent the ball back across goal and into the net.

West Ham failed to create any real opportunities in the second half and Brighton had chances to make it two, but the game ended 1-0

Brighton manager Hope Powell after the game said:

“Everyone did their jobs, which meant they didn’t score and we held out for all three points.

“We’ve done a lot of work on being hard to beat and it gives us the best chance of winning – if we stop conceding goals, then we’re in it.

“The players looked a bit tired towards the end of the match after Sunday’s game but they have really responded well, which takes off some of the pressure in that bottom half of the table.”

West Ham manager Olli Harder:

“Our performance was characterised by individuals’ inability to positively contribute in key moments offensively and defensively.

“The application and effort was there again so it’s difficult to criticise, but it’s quality in key moments that determines games and again we had the opportunity to show that quality but we didn’t do that.

“The missed chances and opportunities each game are fine margins and details. We’re still in this position and we’ve got 10 games to put ourselves in a better position than we’re in at the moment.”

The WSL continues over the weekend with the Manchester derby on Friday. Kick off at 19:00 and Live on BT Sport. Three matches will take place on Sunday with Aston Villa v Arsenal, Reading v Everton and Bristol City v Chelsea.