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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.

WSL RoundUp Week One: Jill Roord Hat-Trick inspires the Gunners To Victory

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.  

What next?

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. 

September 12th

West Ham United vs Arsenal 5:20pm 

September 13th

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

WSL weekly round up and predictions for week eight

The top five sides in the Women’s Super League all won in this week’s round of matches, while 10-player Reading pulled off a remarkable 3-2 comeback against West Ham United.   

Convincing wins for the WSL top two

League leaders Chelsea thrashed Birmingham City 6-0 thanks to a brilliant free kick from Ji-So- Yun, a striker’s finish from centre back Millie Bright doubled the Blues advantage. Two goals a piece from England striker Beth England and Drew Spence followed this.

Title challengers Manchester City put five past West Midlands side Bristol City to claim their sixth win of the season from seven games.  Belgium’s Tessa Wullaert scored the only goal of an otherwise uneventful first half.

The second half saw Nick Cushing’s side run away with it however, England’s star striker Ellen White doubled the visitors lead before German striker Pauline Bremer scored two late goals either side of Caroline Weir’s long range finish.

Defending Champions grind out win

The Gunners meanwhile stay in third place following a 1-0 win over bottom side Liverpool.  Last season’s top scorer, Vivianne Miedema scored the only goal of the game mid-way through the first half.

Joe Montemurro’s side however were wasteful in front of goal with Beth Mead and Danielle van de Donk wasting good chances, while Leah Williamson struck the cross bar from long range.

Liverpool meanwhile has still to score from open play this season with their only goal coming in the 1-1 draw with Bristol City from the penalty spot.

Toffees prove too good for Spurs

Everton secure their third league win in a row as they produced an impressive display against Tottenham.  The Toffees captain, Lucy Graham scored one and had a huge influence in forcing the own goal.

This win moves the Merseyside club up to fourth in the table just three points behind Arsenal in third.

United record their biggest WSL win so far

Leah Galton starred in an impressive 4-0 win for Casey’s Stoney’s Manchester United side against Hope Powell’s Brighton & Hove Albion.  The United striker scored two and set up the opening goal for winger Lauren James. Katie Zalem then secured all three points for the home side from the spot late on.

This win means that the Red Devils have won four of their past five matches in the WSL and currently sit fifth in the table.

Royals pull off stunning comeback

The most entertaining match of the weekend involved last season’s FA Cup Finalists, West Ham.  The Hammers went 2-0 up through goals from Katharina Baunach and Irish striker Leanne Kieran, in between the goals; Reading’s Welsh midfielder, Rachel Rowe was shown a straight red card.

The Royals however, went on to score three goals in seven second half minutes to complete a remarkable 3-2 win. They could have even added to their tally as England midfielder Fara Williams and Sophie Howard both hit the woodwork.

Preview and Predictions for Week 8

Friday November 29th

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Reading Kick-off (19:45)

The Royals won both meetings between the sides last season and have been impressive away from home this campaign so far having won three of their four away matches.

Hope Powell’s team meanwhile have only won one match at home all season, however that win came in their last home match against Birmingham City.

Prediction: Reading 3-1

The Royals are coming off an impressive victory against West Ham last week and have the momentum, I can see them claiming all three points in this one.

Sunday December 1st

Everton vs Chelsea (12:30)

In the four meetings that have taken place between these two sides so far Everton are yet to record a victory.  The Toffees however did draw this corresponding fixture last season 0-0 back in September 2018.

Both sides are also in terrific form at the moment as Everton have won three WSL games in a row against Brighton, Liverpool and Tottenham.  While the Blues have yet to loose a match all season and have so far only dropped points against Brighton, where they drew 1-1 in matchday two.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1

This is a tough game for league leaders, Everton are playing well at the moment however I can see Emma Hayes’ side just sneaking the win.

Arsenal vs Bristol City (12:30) – Live on BBC Red Button and online

This is the second meeting in the space of two weeks between these two sides.  Arsenal won their league cup meeting with Bristol City 7-0 so the West Midlands club will certainly go into this match with trepidation.

Bristol City are still yet to win a match in the Super League this season and have never beaten Arsenal in their previous six meetings with the Gunners.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-0

The Gunners were wasteful in front of goal against Liverpool and should have scored more last weekend, Bristol City however are struggling and can’t see them proving too much trouble for Joe Montemurro’s side.

Manchester City vs Liverpool (14:00)

Liverpool have only beaten Manchester City once in their seven encounters between the two sides, that victory came back in May 2018, a 1-0 win curtsy of a goal from Beth England, who now plays for Chelsea.

This season the citizens are currently unbeaten at home and have won every Super League home match so far.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-0

I am predicting another comfortable afternoon for Nick Cushing’s side. 

West Ham United vs Manchester United (15:00)

This is the first Super League match between these two sides; the Hammers however have been struggling at home so far this season having only won once.  That was on match day two against Birmingham City 1-0.

Casey Stoney’s team meanwhile have been in good form in the last few matches and were unlucky to loose their last away match at Chelsea 1-0.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1

Expect the red devils to keep their impressive start to WSL life going.

Wednesday 4thDecember

Birmingham City vs Tottenham Hotspur (19:30)

This game has been moved from it’s orginal date due to Solihull’s FA Cup Second round match with Rotherham at Birmingham’s SportNation.Bet Stadium on the 2ndDecember.   

This is the first ever-domestic meeting between these two sides as Tottenham are newly promoted to the Super League this season.

Both sides are coming into this game out of form having lost their last three matches in all competitions.

The midlands side struggles show how they have missed the influence of former striker Ellen White who scored 21 super league goals in 26 appearances for the club before departing for Manchester City in the summer.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0

Birmingham City are a team that are struggling to replicate their form of the last campaign and lost comprehensively against Chelsea last time out. I think that Tottenham will be the team that gets back on track in this one.