Tag Archives: Ellen White

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.”

Vivianne Miedema named Football Writers Women’s Footballer of the Year

Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema has won the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year award by the narrowest of margins. Miedema claimed the award by just a single vote after missing out last year by the same margin.

She was pushed all the way in the voting by Chelsea’s Bethany England and follows Lionesses forwards Nikita Parris (2019) and Fran Kirby (2018), to be named the third FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year.

Chelsea’s Norwegian talent Guro Reiten and Lyon’s England defender Lucy Bronze were joint third. Both players were named ahead of Manchester City and England Women’s World Cup 2019 Bronze Boot winner Ellen White.

The voting panel also gave special praise to: Steph Houghton and Lauren Hemp from Manchester City, the Chelsea pair of Erin Cuthbert and Sophie Ingle, Rachel Furness, Beth Mead of Arsenal, Lauren James of Manchester United and Chloe Kelly from Everton.

The 23-year-old Miedema was the Women’s Super League’s top scorer this season with 16 goals in 14 appearances. This included a double hat-trick in Arsenal’s 11-1 drubbing of Bristol City in December. She is also currently her country’s leading goalscorer with 60 goals, and also helped Holland reach last year’s World Cup final.

Runner up, England helped Chelsea win this season’s WSL title after the Blues were declared champions on a points-per-game basis and moved above Manchester City, who were top of the table at the time when the league was halted back in March due to the pandemic. The 21-year-old had another outstanding season for Chelsea, scoring 21 goals in all competitions in their 2019/20 double winning campaign.

Bronze, who earlier this week signed a two month contract extension until August 31st at Lyon to enable her to compete in the Champions League when it resumes later in the summer.  The England full back has subsequently agreed terms to join Manchester City ahead of the new Women’s Super League season. It is also understood that Alex Greenwood has decided to join City along with former Everton forward Kelly.

City, who finished runners up to Chelsea in this seasons truncated campaign will start the new season with no less than 12 regular England internationals including Captain Houghton and England’s most capped player Jill Scott.

How does the FA plan to complete the Women Super League season?

These are certainly challenging times for the sporting calendar across the board.

Particularly it seems for women’s football, this appears somewhat remarkable given its raised profile in this country over the last few years and when the FA announced the Women Super League as the first fully professional division in Europe back in 2017.

It looked as though the only way was up with the prospects of improved publicity and clearer career paths for young talent emerging through the ranks.

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown attendance records for women’s matches were rising significantly as 38,000 fans turned out at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium to see Arsenal’s 2-0 win over their North London rivals back in November of last year.

This in mind, 24/7 football decided to examine what the Football Association’s current plan is for completing the WSL season.

How many games are left?

There are 45 games of the current season still to be played and no WSL fixture has taken place since the 23 February, following an international break for the SheBelieves Cup involving England, Spain, Japan and the USA.

Current situation?

Already the tiers three to seven of the women’s football leagues in England have been declared null and void and subsequently the decision was confirmed on 9 April.  There is the prospect of the top two leagues in the Women’s game following this same line depending upon health advice given by the Government over the coming weeks.

What is the FA’s current plan?

The current plan that the Football Association is looking into is playing out the remaining fixtures all at one central venue behind closed doors with St.George’s Park, the FA’s English National football centre, currently being talked about as a possible location.

The earliest the campaign could begin however would be the weekend of the 6-7 June depending on the government’s advice and would rely on the players being able to begin training in the final week of May.

The completion date being targeted would therefore be the weekend of 18-19 July and would require each of the 12 WSL teams to play two matches per week.

It is understood that the FA would want any decisions made on the top women’s division to follow along with any similar choices made by the Premier League and the European Football governing body, UEFA.

How do the managers and players feel about this?

Manchester City and England striker Ellen White is hoping that the ‘crazy’ Super League season will be completed when the coronavirus is lifted.  White said:

“First and foremost I just want everyone to be healthy. I think everyone would love to finish the season but everyone’s health is the top priority.

“It’s been a pretty crazy season already and it’s a massive fight for who is going to win the league.”

Despite losing their manager Nick Cushing to New York City FC Manchester City found themselves a point clear ahead of their nearest rivals Chelsea. However their title rivals have a game in hand, which had set up an exciting finish until COVID-19 stopped all sport.

The Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes meanwhile has said:

“When the men’s professional game resumes the WSL should consider doing that but I understand if the season does not resume and life is ultimately more important. Hopefully when the times come to lift the restrictions we can all do it in the same way.”

While the Bristol City Women’s manager Tanya Oxtoby has recently expressed concerns that some players may in fact be struggling with anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 lockdown.  Oxtoby said

“Athletes like structure, routine and to be around each other.  So I think from a mental health point of view that’s probably very difficult.

“There’s also been the added stress in terms of finances and families, those are all factors that will affect individual players a little bit differently.”

This observation can certainly be applied to all sports personnel during this time. FIFA Pro recently carried out a survey alongside Amsterdam University on both male and female footballers which showed 22% of female players and 13% of male players have reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of depression.

What next?

The Football Association is determined to complete the current season but wants it finished by no later than early August.

The FA Women’s Director Kelly Simmons, supports this by saying:

“We are determined to finish the FA WSL, Women’s Championship and the FA Cup in the most appropriate way while it is also the intention of UEFA to complete the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

“We are doing everything we can to plan for the return of football but for now safety and welfare remains are primary concern.”

One thing is however clearly apparent; this is certainly an unprecedented time for all those involved and ultimately tough decisions will need to be made about the future and growth of the women’s game in the days ahead.