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FA WSL Round Up: Chelsea go top of the table

With just one WSL game last weekend there was a full fixture list this past weekend.

Reigning Champions Chelsea moved to the top of the WSL table after a 2-1 win over previous leaders Manchester United. The teams are level on points but Chelsea have a better goal difference, plus a game in hand.

Third placed Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Reading. Manchester City hammered Aston Villa 7-0 while Everton put four past bottom side Bristol City. Tottenham beat West Ham by 1-0 and Birmingham City drew at home to Brighton.

Chelsea 2 v 1 Manchester United

Chelsea began brightly with Sam Kerr going past two United defenders to take a shot forcing Mary Earps into an early save. Just two minutes later and Fran Kirby’s though ball finds Kerr in the box but she shot wide. Kerr had another chance but her first time shot went wide again. Three really good chances for The Blues who should have been leading.

United’s first chance came from Christen Press, Kirsty Hanson’s cross defected to Press who hit the ball on the half volley but put it wide.

Chelsea were soon back on the front foot. Working into the box on the right, Fran Kirby had another chance but Earps stuck a leg for a Chelsea corner.

Erin Cuthbert swung in the corner which was met by Pernille Harder who headed towards goal. Amy Turner headed the ball out but it found its to Kirby who shot was blocked but United could not clear and Harder turned the ball into the net. 1-0 Chelsea 30′.

United brought Lauren James on for Press after 55 minutes and it took the 19 year old just six minutes to make an impact. After playing a lovely 1-2 with Ella Tonne, James took sight of goal and curled her shot past the outstretched arms of Berger. 1-1 61′

The goal woke the Chelsea team up as Kerr had another chance saved by Earps. After So-Yun Ji’s shot defected into her path Kerr tried the shot but Earps saved comfortably.

Chelsea retook the lead on 65 minutes as Berger’s long ball went the length of the pitch. The United defenders were not alive to the ball over the top but Chelsea’s in form player Fran Kirby was. Taking a couple of touches Kirby calmly put the ball past the advancing Earps. 2-1 Chelsea 61′.

Lauren James had another chance to level. Ella Tonne playing James behind the chelsea backline, but the striker but her shot wide of the target.

A thrilling game between the top two ends with a win for the Champions, who now go top of the league.

Reading 1 v 1 Arsenal

Arsenal missed the chance to close the gap to second place after drawing at Reading. Reading took the lead after 5 minutes as Lauren Bruton turned in Emma Mitchells free kick. Arsenal were level five minutes before halftime. Jill Roord’s header was saved by Grace Moloney, but Vivianne Miedema was first to react to tap in for her 12th goal of the season.

Reading reamian in sixth place while Arsenal are still third three points of Chelsea and Manchester United.

West Ham United 0 v 1 Tottenham Hotspur

West Ham began this game brightly but failed to really trouble Spur’s keeper Rebecca Spencer. Tottenham grew into the game and took the lead on 35 minutes.

Rosella Ayane putting temping cross across the six yard box, Alanna Kennedy was crowded out by West Ham’s defenders and unable to get the ball. Tottenham’s Gemma Davison picked up the loose ball and found Lucy Quinn who fired home.

West Ham pushed for an equalizer in the second half but couldn’t find the net. The win is Tottenham’s third in a row and they sit in 7th place. West Ham are 10th.

Everton 4 v 0 Bristol City

After five games without a win Everton picked up all three points after putting four past Bristol City.

Taking the lead after 4 minutes, Nicoline Sorensen’s cross was turned into the roof of the net by Izzy Christiansen. Sorensen and Christiansen almost combined for the second but City keeper haland made a good save. Hayley Raso’s cross looked to be the keepers but she fumbled the ball and it was turned in by Simone Magill. Everton lead 2-0 at half time.

Christiansen made it three after squeezing the ball from a tight angle into the far corner after being played in by Lucy Graham. Megan Finnigan round off a good win with a fourth heading in at the near post from Christiansen’s corner.

Everon stay in fifth place on 17 points while Bristol City are still looking for a first win.

Manchester City 7 v 0 Aston Villa

Not really a contest at The Academy Stadium as Manchester City ran riot and put 7 past Aston Villa. Lauren Hemp got the first sliding in at the far post from Chole Kelly’s cross. Jill Scott made it two after 17 minutes before Stanway scored the third on 31 minutes. Kelly and Hemp combined again to make it four nil, before Kemp’s cross was put into the goal by Villa’s Natalie Haigh. Ellen White made six before half time.

Chloe Kelly got City’s seventh in the second half. City are fourth five points off the leaders Chelsea and Manchester United. Villa are 11th four points ahead of Bristol City.

Birmingham City 0 v 0 Brighton

Brighton controlled this match but rarely caused Birmingham keeper Hannah Hampton. Despite having seven shots on target the Birmingham keeper was never in danger of conceding. Birmingham had only one shot on target in the entire game and Brighton will feel hard done by with just a point.

Brighton are in 9th place while Birmingham are 8th.

Birmingham City will host Everton at 19:00 on Wednesday 20th January. Aston Villa are home to Reading on Saturday 23rd January 12:00. Two 12:00 kick offs on Sunday 24th January as Arsenal host West Ham and Manchester United host Birmingham City. Brighton will play Manchester City at 14:00 and Bristol City will host leaders Chelsea.

WSL UPdate: Manchester United top of tree at Xmas

Manchester United continue to lead the way in the WSL after dishing out a 6-1 thrashing to Bristol City. Two each for Leah Galton and Tobin Heath along with goals from Jessica Sigsworth and Millie Turner means that United will go into Christmas as league leaders.

Arsenal, meanwhile, kept the pressure on after a 4-0 win over Everton, meant that they remain in second place. Reading beat Brighton 3-1 with Jess Fishlock starring getting two goals and an assist. Elsewhere, Birmingham against Manchester City was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Manchester United 6-1 Bristol City

Bristol City are still searching for a first win of the season and had the first real chance of the game. A long ball from inside their half over the top of the United defence allowed Ebony Salmon to get behind Amy Turner. After lifting the ball over Mary Earps her effort went wide.

United came back though with Ona Batlle long range effort pushed over by Sophie Baggaley. Tobin Heath also hit one from distance putting the ball on to the top of the bar.

City were trying to sit deep and narrow to frustrate United, but Leah Galton found a pocket of space on the edge of the area. Turning to create herself a little space she fired a shot with her left foot into the roof of the net.

Baggaley could do nothing about Galton’s effort but she was in fine form to stop Heath’s close range effort with a wonderful reaction save.

United were two up in first half stoppage time thanks to Millie Turner, from a Katie Zelem corner. Zelem put the ball across the six yard box and Turner powered in at the far post to head into the goal.

It was 3-0 after 52 minute’s, Jessica Sigsworth after going down as Bristol defended Heath’s corner. Sigsworth was up quickly to smash home after Bristol failed to clear.

Galton made it 4-0 to United with another stunning goal. Toone’s pass spilt the Bristol defence to find Galton on the outside of the box. Galton struck beautifully into the far corner from a tight angle.

Bristol City caught United on the break on 72 minutes, a long ball finding Salmon behind the defence again. Earps saved the initial shot but the ball fell back to Salmon and she found the net.

United’s fifth came from Heath, chipping the ball over Baggaley from outside the box. Heath got her second just three minutes later, Hayley Ladd sliding the ball to Heath who shot low to get her second of the game.

United stay top two points ahead of Arsenal, but for Bristol City they remain bottom with just two points and yet to pick up a win.

Arsenal 4-0 Everton

Arsenal were ahead after just four minutes, Beth Mead’s run inside the area and ball across the six yard both gave Jordan Nobbs a simple tap in.

Six minutes later Arsenal were two up with another tap in this time for Caitlin Foord. Jill Roord’s ball across the box found Catlin Foord in space and she tapped in from inside the six yard box.

Nobbs capitalised on some poor Everton defending to set up Roord but her effort was well saved by Maciver.

Just after the hour Arsenal had their third. Katie McCabe’s corner was met at the far post Jen Beattie. Beattie headed into an empty net after Maciver came and failed to punch the ball away.

Mead made it four with a stunning curling shot from outside the box. Mead curled the ball into the far corner leaving the Everton keeper no chance.

Foord had the chance to make it five breaking though the Everton defence, but was met by Maciver who stood her ground well and saved well as Mead tried to go around her.

Arsenal are second and four points behind Manchester United. Everton sit fifth with 14 points.

Brighton 1-3 Reading

Reading took the lead in this game on 17 minutes thanks to Fishlock. A poor pass from Fliss Gibbons was latched onto by Fishlock, taking the ball to edge of the area she fired low into the bottom corner.

Brighton levelled on 21 minutes with a Inessa Kaagman Penalty. After working into the Reading box a heavy tackle from Denna Copper gave the referee an easy decision. Kaagman sent the keeper the wrong way to fire home form the spot kick.

Reading took the lead just before half time, Fishlock getting her second. After getting the ball into the box, the deflected cross fell to Fishlock, controlling the ball on the chest then smashing the ball in from close range.

After the break Brighton had an early chance to level. Gibbons’ long range shot was saved and Whelan’s follow up went wide.

Fishlock was in fine form as she attempted a long range effort as she looked to get het hat-trick. Playing a nice one two she shot just wide of the goal.

Reading sealed the points in stoppage time with Rachel Rowe getting the goal. Winning the ball on half way it fell to Fishlock who drove forward and played a clever pass to Rowe. Rowe with a lovely chip over the keeper and after hitting the far post and being cleared off the line, the assistant referee flagged that it crossed the line.

Reading are currently sixth on 13 points while Brighton are ninth with 8 points.

The WSL returns on January 9th as Aston Villa host Arsenal and Manchester City will host West Ham United.

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.

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.

Vivianne Miedema becomes WSL record goal scorer

The Dutch and Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema broke the all-time Women Super League goal scoring record this past weekend in style by scoring a stunning hat-trick in the Gunner’s 6-1 win over their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. 

At the age of just 24, Miedema has already managed an impressive 52 goals in 50 appearances for the club, surpassing the previous record of former Manchester City forward Nikita Parris, who now plies her trade with the current Champions League winner’s, Olympique Lyon. 

Indeed, the Dutch striker has already achieved a number of impressive allocates already in Women’s football having been not only been named the 2020 Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, but is also the Netherlands’ record goal scorer with 69 goals in 89 games. 

In addition to those incredible individual honours, Miedema unsurprisingly holds the record for the most WSL goals in a season, 22 in the 2018-19 campaign, was part of the Netherlands European Championship winning side back in 2017 and appeared in a World Cup Final in 2019. 

No wonder former Gunners forward Kelly Smith referred to Miedema as the ‘complete striker’. 

Speaking to the PA Agency, Smith said:

“You just look at her goals to game ratio and she’s been outstanding. She scores goals with her left and right foot, her head, she sets goals up.  For me she is the complete striker, and is the best in the world at the moment.” 

Miedema, however, could soon be joined at the 50-goal mark by England and Manchester City forward Ellen White, who sits on 48 WSL goals, but what makes the Dutch striker’s goal record more impressive is that of the 52 goals she has scored not one of them has come from the penalty spot. Not only that but White is now 31-years old and has played twice as many games, 105 appearances.  

Miedema’s favourite opponent to score against meanwhile is Bristol City, having scored 12 of her goals against the Robins in total, including six in a remarkable 11-1 victory back in December 2019. 

No wonder Arsenal Manager, Joe Montemurro has made providing Miedema with a new contract as top of the Gunners list of priorities, this news will surely bring delight to all Arsenal fans. 

Montemurro said:

“We’re already starting to look at where we’re heading with the direction next year and years to come, but obviously Viv will be on top of that list and we’ll do everything we can to make sure Viv remains part of the group.

“She’s an important part of the group, obviously as a footballer but also off the park, her qualities as a person are fantastic.”