This past weekend marked the return of the FA Women Super League, where remarkably the last League matches concluded at the end of February.
Joe Montemurro’s Arsenal, however, put the disappointment of last month’s Champions League exit to PSG successfully behind them with a resounding 6-1 victory over Kelly Chambers’ Reading, who had not played a game since February.
Indeed, the Royals new midfielder, Jess Fishlock did not have the dream debut, as the Gunners were ruthless in front of goal. Scottish international Kim Little gave Montemurro’s side the early lead with a composed finish from Leah Williamson’s pinpoint cross in the fifteenth minute. While last season’s Football Writers’ Player of the Year, Vivianne Miedema, subsequently doubled the North London team’s advantage before Jill Roord was able to add a third just before half-time.
Things did not improve for Chamber’s side in the second half as Little was able to successfully set up Roord for Arsenal’s fourth of the day. Last season’s golden boot winner, Miedema then made up for an uncharacteristic miss by adding a fifth with a terrifically struck shot.
Ten minutes from time, Roord was able to round off scoring for the Gunners by completing her hat trick after a lovely flowing team move. Ex- Arsenal striker, Danielle Carter managed to grab a late consolation for the Royals but by then the game itself was over as a contest.
Last season’s WSL champions Chelsea, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw at Manchester United’s Leigh Sports Village stadium. The Blues took the lead in the 25thminute through Australian International striker Sam Kerr after she had managed to successfully convert a cross from Fran Kirby.
Casey Stoney’s United, however, were always in the game and saw Leah Galton’s header hit the bar just before half-time. The Red Devils were, however, able to grab an equaliser ten minutes from time when Galton was able to convert substitute Jackie Groenen’s cross.
There was still time for Chelsea’s record signing and the most expensive player in women’s football history, Pernille Harder to make her much-anticipated debut, however, she was unable to find that break through as the game ended 1-1.
Gareth Taylor’s first WSL in charge of Manchester City ended with a 2-0 victory over newly promoted Aston Villa. England striker Georgia Stanway scored both goals in the first 21 minutes, which were created by two defensive mix-ups at the back by Villa’s defence. Overall, Taylor would be encouraged by new signing Chloe Kelly’s performance, through out the game she was able to cause the Villa defence a number of problems. While the American, Sam Mewis also grew impressively into her midfield role as the game went on.
Two goals from club captain Lucy Graham helped Everton get off to an impressive start as they secured a 4-0 away win against Bristol City, while two second half goals from Megan Connolly and Inessa Kaagman helped Hope Powell’s Brighton on the way to a 2-0 victory over Birmingham City.
Finally West Ham’s Adriana Leon scored a brilliant goal in the WSL’s first London derby of the season as the Hammers kicked off their season with a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.
This weekend’s round of fixtures kicks-off with West Ham hosting Arsenal, in a match that will be played in front of roughly 1,000 supporters. This is part of the Government’s latest pilot scheme of allowing people to attend sport. The game will be due to kick-off at 5:20pm on Saturday 12thSeptember at Dagenham and Redbridge’s Victoria Road.
On Sunday 13thSeptember sees the rest of week two’s WSL ties as Champions Chelsea will be looking to get their first win of the campaign at home to Bristol City. While, Everton will look to build on their impressive start as they are at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
Elsewhere, Manchester United travel to face Birmingham City, Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City host Brighton and Reading will be looking to bounce back from their heavy opening day defeat as they play newly promoted Aston Villa.
West Ham United vs Arsenal 5:20pm
Chelsea vs Bristol City 12:30pm
Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur 1pm
Birmingham City vs Manchester United 2pm
Manchester City vs Brighton & Hove Albion 2pm
Reading vs Aston Villa 2pm