Fresh from their impressive midweek Champions League success, Chelsea continued their charge at the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table with victory over Leicester City while Beth Mead got back to scoring ways.
The reigning champions beat the Foxes 5-2 and now have 28 goals in eight games to sit three points clear of Arsenal at the top.
The Gunners were comfortable victors themselves thanks to Mead’s double, with Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool also winners.
In the final game of the day, Manchester City put on a show as Khadija Shaw scored a hat-trick in a 7-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Free-scoring Chelsea stay top
Emma Hayes’ side had put four past Paris FC on Thursday and topped that despite being made to work hard by Leicester City in a 5-2 win.
It looked like business as usual for Chelsea as they raced into a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes, Lauren James opening the scoring before her shot was diverted home for a Courtney Nevin own-goal.
But Leicester fought back through Jutta Rantala, before cutting the deficit to a goal again through Sam Tierney – Sam Kerr having grabbed Chelsea’s third in the meantime.
Leading by a goal at the break, Chelsea gave themselves some breathing room just before the hour through James’ second and then sealed victory at the death with Aggie Beever-Jones’ fifth goal in her last five games.
Mead makes her mark for Arsenal
It had been more than a year since Beth Mead was on target in the BWSL but the England star did so twice in the first half of a 3-0 win over West Ham for Arsenal.
Having recovered from the ACL injury that kept her out of the World Cup, Mead’s double provided a welcome reminder of what she can do.
Arsenal were already a goal to the good, Frida Maanum opening the scoring after just two minutes, before Mead ended her wait for a goal midway through the half.
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) November 26, 2023
Her first was a fine strike into the top corner, before she made it two at the second attempt to put Arsenal in control.
From 3-0, Arsenal were able to see out the victory and they have now won five in a row in the league to stay second, three points behind Chelsea.
United bounce back from derby defeat
After going down to Manchester City at home last weekend, Manchester United needed a response, and they got it with a 2-0 win over Bristol City.
Two goals in five second-half minutes allowed them to come away with all three points against the WSL’s bottom side.
Having kept it scoreless for the first 45 minutes, City were undone five minutes into the second half when Hinata Miyazawa’s strike from outside the box was deflected past Olivia Clark.
— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) November 26, 2023
A record crowd had shown up for the encounter at Ashton Gate, but the more than 14,000 in attendance were dealt a second blow when Nikita Parris got up to head home Ella Toone’s cross and wrap up the points for the visitors.
Liverpool on the march
Liverpool ended a run of four matches without a win in all competitions in emphatic fashion as they saw off Brighton 4-0.
Gemma Bonner set them on their way just before the half-hour, flicking home from a corner before Shanice van de Sanden finished off a counter-attack on the stroke of half-time.
A goal and two assists for Sophie Roman Haug* 🔥 https://t.co/ONpR3qYnBW
— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) November 26, 2023
From there, the Reds were able to pull away with it, Ceri Holland nodding home a third before Sophie Roman Haug, who had already set up two, got her name on the scoresheet in stoppage time.
Everton edge out Villa in second-half thriller
Nathalie Bjorn’s penalty was enough to earn Everton a crucial three points as they came away from their trip to Aston Villa with a 2-1 win.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock in the first half, but the Toffees hit the front ten minutes into the second when Anna Patten put through her own net.
The lead lasted barely a minute, Rachel Daly with a delightful side-footed finish to draw Villa level.
A composed finish. 😮💨🇸🇪pic.twitter.com/x9ekrFBsAe
— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) November 26, 2023
However, 15 minutes from time, Kirsty Hanson caught Heather Payne in the box, allowing Bjorn to step up and slot home the winner from the spot.
Shaw makes a statement for City
Manchester City started November with back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and then Brighton, but have responded in spectacular fashion.
Last week’s derby win over United got them back on track, and then against a Spurs team who were just a point behind them in the table, Gareth Taylor’s side ran riot.
Bunny Shaw was the star of the show, notching a first-half hat-trick as City seized control, leading 3-0 at the break.
— Barclays Women’s Super League (@BarclaysWSL) November 26, 2023
And they were just as clinical in the second half, with Lauren Hemp and Jill Roord extending the lead before Laura Coombes came off the bench to score two more. The 7-0 win is City’s biggest-ever in the WSL.