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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.

Womens super league weekend preview

The Women’s Super League has been awash with action across its opening three weekends with Arsenal and Everton setting the early pace with their perfect records.

Here’s your preview for the fourth round of matches including the huge clash between two teams full of world stars, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United 10/10 12.30pm

Spurs go in search of their first win of the season as they host Manchester United at the Hive Stadium to get the weekend’s fixtures underway at 12.30pm on Saturday.

Having won their previous two league matches, United were well beaten by Championship side Liverpool in their opening Continental Tyres Cup match midweek and will be looking to bounce back with a win.

Brighton v Arsenal 11/10 12.30pm

Sunday’s early kick off sees seventh place Brighton welcome table topping Arsenal to the Broadfield Stadium in what looks to be a difficult task for the south coast club.

The Gunners have started the 2020/21 season in scintillating form and currently occupy the top three goal scorers in the league with Dutch midfielder Jill Roord setting the pace with six goals in the first three games.

Everton v West Ham 11/10 13.00pm

Everton are the only other side with a 100% record, not unlike the men’s side, and will be hopeful of continuing in the same vein at Walton Hall Park.

New signing’s Claire Emslie and Hayley Raso have spearheaded the Toffee’s strong start with two goals apiece. Whilst The Hammers need to recapture their form after back to back losses in the Super League.

Reading v Birmingham City 11/10 14.00pm

The Royals will be hoping for home advantage as they look to move up the table following an improvement in their performances of late leading to consecutive wins and a well earned place in sixth position.

For Birmingham City, manager Carla Ward knows her side need a victory sooner rather than later following a dismal start to their season has seen the midlands club lose all three of their league fixtures.

Chelsea v Manchester City 11/10 14.30pm

Perhaps the clash of the weekend as the defending champions Chelsea host the much fancied Man City at Kingsmeadow to round off the weekends action. Both sides have taken seven points from the opening three matches and will be hopeful of cutting the gap to the leaders.

Two teams brimmed full of star quality, Chelsea, managed by Emma Hayes, will look to the likes of Fran Kirby, Magdalena Eriksson and new arrival Pernille Harder to be pivotal to the home sides chances.

For Man City boss Gareth Taylor, he will be looking towards star signing Rose Lavelle to fire them to victory. Forward Georgia Stanway is the sides leading scorer this term with two goals from the first three games.

WSL 2

Lewes v Blackburn Rovers, Durham v Crystal Palace, Leicester City v Liverpool, Coventry City v Sheffield United, London City v London Bees.

Womens FA Cup quarter Final Preview

2019/2020 FA Cup Resumes

As strange as its sounds to talk about FA Cup Quarter Finals in September, with all that’s going on in the world credit to the FA for finishing last season Women’s FA Cup.

FA Director of the women’s professional game Kelly Simmons said:

“A significant amount of work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure the Women’s FA Cup can be completed and I am delighted that we have received the necessary approval for its conclusion”.

Simmons continued:

“The Women’s FA Cup is a showpiece fixture in the football calendar and because of that there was a huge appetite for the remaining rounds to be played”.

The show piece final will take place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 31st of October. But before that we have the quarter and semi finals to be played.

The quarter finals will take place this weekend starting with the north London derby on Saturday (Kick off 17:15). The winners of this will face the winners of Leicester City v Manchester City who met on Sunday at 14:00. Also on Sunday Everton host Chelsea at 13:00 with the winners facing Brighton or Birmingham who will face off at 14:00.

All games will be played behind closed doors. Arsenal’s game with Tottenham will be shown on BBC2 from 5pm on Saturday. While Everton v Chelsea will be streamed on the FA Player.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal head into this derby fixture having gotten off to a flying start in the WSL. With 9-1 and 6-1 wins over West ham and Reading respectively. The gunners have been on fire in front of goal. Tottenham however have suffered defeat to Everton 1-0 and drew with West ham 1-1.

New Arsenal player Steph Catley spoke to the clubs website about the competition:

“Its a brand new experience for me. the reason you play football is to win trophies, so to come in at such a late stage and be really close to winning one is really exciting”

Arsenal boast a wealth of international talent within their squad. Dutch midfielder Jill Roord has had a great start with six goals in two games. While fellow Netherlands international Vivianne Miedema has scored four goals so far. The Gunners also boast the likes of England stars Beth Mead and Jordan Nobbs, Dutch attacker Danielle Van de Donk and Scotland international Kim Little. Joe Montemurro’s side, therefore, must be considered heavy favourites.

Tottenham will be no push over’s, however, after recently signing US legend and World Cup winner Alex Morgan. Alex spoke to the club website about coming to play in England:

“I’ve heard so many great things about the WSL and some of my team-mates from the national team have come over and signed with other clubs in the WSL”. “I wanted to challenge myself and play in a different league”.

Players To Watch

For Arsenal Jill Roord and Vivianne Miedema have been scoring for fun. Jordan Nobbs and Danielle Van de Donk will also play an important part for Arsenal. As for Tottenham Australia defender Alanna Kennedy will need to be at her best. Anna Filbey will be looking to continue her good form, after Wales’ narrow 1-0 defeat to Norway. But there could be a staring role for Alex Morgan who may make her first appearance.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham

Everton V Chelsea

Everton host Chelsea in Sundays early game Kick off 13:00. The game will be streamed live on the FA Player.

Everton head into this game on the back of two wins in the WSL. A 1-0 victory over Tottenham and a 4-0 win over Bristol City. Lucy Graham scored twice in the win over Bristol while Isobel Christiansen got the winner against Tottenham.

Chelsea opened the WSL with at draw away to Manchester United (1-1) with a goal from Sam Kerr. In their second game they hammered Bristol City by nine goals. Kirby, Mjelde, Leupolz, Cuthbert, Bright, England, Charles, Harder and Kerr all getting on the scoresheet.

In the last five meeting between these side Chelsea have won four and there has been one draw. Everton’s last win was in 2013 when they won 3-2.

Players To Watch

For Everton Ingrid Wold the Norwegian international helped Norway to a 1-0 win over Wales on Tuesday will be key to stopping Chelsea’s So-Yun Ji, Fran kirby and Beth England. Scotland international Lucy Graham has two goals for the season and will be looking to add more.

For Chelsea they have world stars right across the squad. Norwegian trio Maren Mjelde, Maria Thorisdottir and Guro Reiten. Sophie Ingle, So-Yon Ji, Fran Kirby can all change games. While Sam Kerr is one of the best strikers in the world.

Prediction: Everton 0-4 Chelsea

Brighton V Birmingham City

These sides met each other on the opening day of the WSL season. Brighton won the game by two goals to nil, with stikes from Megan Connolly and Inessa Kaagman. The score flattered the Blues as Brighton hit fifteen attempts to their four.

Brighton’s second game saw them hold Man City to a goalless draw. They sit in sixth place after two games. After finishing ninth at the early end of last season Brighton will want to push on this season.

Birmingham’s poor start continued with a 5-2 defeat to Manchester United. They did lead in the match after conceding early. A Claudia Walker equaliser and an own goal from Abbie McManus giving them a brief lead. United leveled before the break, then hit three without reply in the second half.

Players to Watch

For Brighton Inessa Kaagman and Kayleigh Green will be important. Also 18 year old english defender Maya Le Tissier has looked a great talent in the first two rounds of the WSL. Birmingham will be looking for more goals from Claudia Walker.

Prediction: Brighton 2-0 Birmingham City

Leicester City v Manchester City

Leicester enter the quarter finals as the only Championship side remaining in the competition. They have begun their season with a 3-0 win over Blackburn and a 2-2 draw with Sheffield United. They sit second in the championship on goal difference.

FA Cup holders Manchester City have a win and draw in their opening WSL fixtures. City boss Gareth Taylor spoke to clubs website ahead of this game saying:

“The girls are under no illusions that we need to be better in the final third with our decision-making and final action where it matters”.

Taylor continued:

“Goals are important and of course, we don’t want to concede any. Its a positive in that respect- we’ve had two clean sheets”.

Aoife Mannion, Megan Campbell and Lauren Hemp are all confirmed to be out of contention though injuries. In positive news though Rose Lavelle may get her first start.

Players to Watch

For Leicester Natasha Flint has three goals in two games for the season. Millie Farrow has one goal in one and is another Leicester player to watch. Manchester City have an outstanding squad of international players, however, keep an eye on American pair Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis.

Prediction: Leicester City 0-3 Manchester City

WSL RoundUp Week Two: Champions Chelsea register first win of the 2020-21 Season

The latest round of Women Super League matches incredibly featured two sides scoring nine goals past their respective opponents. 

Indeed, WSL Champions Chelsea registered their first win of the campaign with a 9-0 win over Tanya Oxtoby’s Bristol City side.  

Emma Hayes’ Blues were ruthless in front of goal in an impressive team display, which saw nine different goal scorers.  England International Fran Kirby opened the scoring with her first WSL goal for 16 months since returning from pericarditis. 

The West London club doubled their advantage 16 minutes later through Norwegian defender Maren Mjelde from the penalty spot after Yana Daniels fouled Ji So-yun. 

Scottish winger Erin Cuthbert then ensured that Chelsea’s impressive performance continued as she provided the free kick for Melanie Leupolz to head home, before she scored herself from a long-range strike just outside the penalty area. Millie Bright then headed in the Blue’s fifth just before half time.

Things did not improve for The Robins in the second half as PFA Player of the Year Beth England tapped in from close range, before new signing Niamh Charles got in on the act by scoring on her first appearance for her new club.  

Record signing Pernille Harder then opened her goalscoring account with an impressive backheel into the net before Australian international Sam Kerr completed the rout.

The other team to score nine goals past their opponents was Arsenal, who secured a 9-1 win over London rivals West Ham. 

The match was selected as a test event for the reintroduction of crowds and the 734 fans certainly got their money’s worth. 

The two sides were evenly matched in the first part of the game as Jill Roord put the Gunners ahead with a side-footed finish before the hosts equalised through a Kenza Dali half volley just outside the area. 

The game, however, was effectively over as a contest when Hammer’s captain Gilly Flaherty was sent off just after Arsenal had retaken the lead through Dutch international Vivianne Miedema.

Midfielder Kim Little finished off a fine team move before England striker Beth Mead made it 4-1 to the North London side just before the break.  

The second half saw further misery for the home side and their fans as Roord scored a further two goals to ensure she went home with the match ball for the second game running.  

In between Roord’s goals Miedema was able to add another to her tally before Leah Williamson and Caitlin Foord completed the scoring, which saw the Gunners move to the top of the table, with two wins out of two and managing to score 15 goals in the process.    

New signings Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood meanwhile were unable to inspire Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City side, who, were held to a 0-0 draw in their first home match of the campaign by a stubborn Brighton team.

The other side of Manchester, however, had no such problems as they achieved their first three points of the campaign away at Birmingham City.  Casey Stoney’s Manchester United were successfully able to overturn a 2-1 half-time deficit thanks to two goals from Kirsty Hanson, who inspired United to a 5-2 win.  

Elsewhere, Reading were able to recover from a disappointing 6-1 opening day defeat to Arsenal with a strong first half display against newly promoted Aston Villa.  Goals from Amalie Eikeland, Laura Bruton and a Fara Williams penalty ensured The Royals of a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time.  

Although a penalty from Stine Larsen 11 minutes from the end offered the midlands side a way back into the game they ultimately never looked likely to threaten to get back into the match. 

The final WSL game saw Everton maintain their impressive start to the season with a 1-0 win over Tottenham.  The North London club were minus their new marque signing Alex Morgan, and ultimately did not offer much going forward.  Subsequently, they slumped to defeat on Merseyside, thanks to a header from England international Izzy Christiansen. 

What next?

The Women Super League takes a two-week break with the next round of games being played on Sunday 4thOctober.

Before that though, the weekend of the 26/27thSeptember features Women’s FA Cup Quarter Finals, which includes a North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham. WSL Champions Chelsea, meanwhile, travel to in-form Everton, while Championship side Leicester City take on Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City. 

The remaining Quarter Final sees Hope Powell’s Brighton host Midlands side, Birmingham City. 

Women’s FA Quarter Final Ties

Saturday 26thSeptember

Arsenal Women vs Tottenham Women (12:30pm)

Everton Women vs Chelsea Women (1pm)

Leicester City Women vs Manchester City Women (1pm)

Sunday 27thSeptember

Brighton & Hove Albion Women vs Birmingham City Women (3pm)