Goals from Guro Reiten and Magdalena Eriksson edged the Blues closer to the title, though Manchester United remain just in touch following a dramatic victory in the Manchester derby.
Chelsea moved another step closer to the Barclays Women’s Super League title as they defeated Arsenal 2-0 on Sunday.
However they did not quite clinch the title on Sunday, with Manchester United keeping their hopes alive with victory in the Manchester derby.
Elsewhere, Tottenham secured their place in the top tier for next season with a commanding 4-1 win over relegation rivals Reading on Saturday but Leicester remain in the relegation battle following a 2-1 loss to West Ham which ensured the battle to avoid the drop will go down to the final day.
Aston Villa were held to a draw by Liverpool in a six-goal thriller and Everton snatched victory at the death against Brighton.
Chelsea edge London derby to move closer to title
Goals from Guro Reiten and Magdalena Eriksson carried Chelsea to the cusp of the BWSL title as they downed cross-capital rivals Arsenal.
The visitors knew they needed a victory to keep their own title aspirations alive but fell behind midway through the first half when Reiten calmly diverted home a sublime cross from Eve Perisset.
The lead was doubled four minutes before half-time when captain Magdalena Eriksson – in her final home match for the club – bundled home from Sam Kerr’s downward header.
Arsenal had chances to reduce the arrears in the second half but Caitlin Foord saw an effort come back off the crossbar and Katie McCabe dragged a penalty wide as their slim title chances came to an end.
Garcia keeps United in title contention
Lucia Garcia’s late winner kept Manchester United just about in the title race with a 2-1 win over local rivals Manchester City.
The Red Devils could not have asked for a much better start, with a stunning long-range strike from Hayley Ladd putting them in front inside two minutes.
Man City did work their way into the game and started to cause the hosts problems, though their quest for an equaliser was scuppered when ‘keeper Ellie Roebuck was sent off after a foul on Nikita Parris just before half time.
However the Citizens were largely the better side at the start of the second period, and got their reward when Filippa Angeldahl’s cross looped over United ‘keeper Mary Earps and into the back of the net.
Both sides spurned chances to seal victory, but Garcia bundled the ball home in the first minute of added time to put United two points off Chelsea, keeping their hopes of the title just about alive.
However defeat for City all but ends their European football hopes, with Arsenal just needing a point on the final day to guarantee third place.
Spurs seal survival
The weekend’s action at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, where Tottenham beat relegation rivals Reading 4-1 to secure their league survival.
The hosts were ahead just before the half-hour mark when Bethany England nodded home before Celine Bizet doubled Spurs’ lead just before half time.
England scored her second and effectively sealed all three points when she rounded Reading ‘keeper Grace Moloney and placed the ball into an empty net in the 62nd minute, before Kit Graham netted their fourth.
Justine Vanhaevermaet’s late goal was a mere consolation for the Royals, who had plenty of possession but often struggled for clear-cut chances.
Foxes face nervy final day after defeat
Leicester spurned an opportunity to secure survival as they were beaten 2-1 by a West Ham side who ended their poor run of recent form and secured a first win of 2023.
The Foxes were on top early on at the King Power Stadium but a West Ham counter-attack saw them take the lead, Anouk Denton’s cross deflected by Sophie Howard into the back of her own net.
And Howard was at the centre of the action for the Hammers second goal, her handball in the box leading to a penalty which was calmly slotted home by Dagny Brynjarsdottir on the hour mark.
Leicester pushed for a late comeback but were reduced to 10 players in added time when Ruby Mace received her marching orders. There was still time for Hannah Cain to pull one back from the spot but it was ultimately too little too late, and the Foxes could still be relegated next weekend – they remain two points clear of Reading.
Villa rally to draw with Liverpool
Aston Villa came from behind to draw 3-3 with Liverpool in a classic encounter at Villa Park.
Kirsty Hanson put the hosts ahead just seven minutes into the contest but goals from Katie Stengel and Natasha Dowie in the space of three minutes turned the tables.
Villa hit back to level before the break, with BWSL top scorer Rachel Daly’s effort in added time restoring parity and taking her tally for the season to 21.
The visitors went ahead once more 17 minutes into the second half when Stengel netted for a second time but Hanson completed a brace of her own in the 70th minute to ensure both sides claimed a point apiece.
Bennison strikes at the death for Toffees
Hanna Bennison was the hero for Everton as her late effort sealed all three points for the Toffees in a 2-1 victory against Brighton at Walton Hall Park.
The Toffees were ahead just after the half-hour mark, Katja Snoeijs continuing her fine form with a powerful angled finish from 12 yards out.
However, Katie Robinson – another in-form player – levelled for the Seagulls just before the end of the first period, the England international chipping over Everton ‘keeper Emily Ramsey to make it 1-1.
A nervy second half saw both sides spurn chances, though in the 91st minute Bennison helped her side claim victory, her curling effort nestling in the back of the net.