21.01.2024

James treble keeps Chelsea top of Barclays Women’s Super League

A Lauren James treble helped Chelsea beat Manchester United 3-1 and maintain their lead at the top of the Barclays Women’s Super League.

James scored her second successive hat-trick at Stamford Bridge, beating Mary Earps three times to puncture United’s title ambitions.

The Blues remain three points clear at the summit in search of their fifth successive BWSL title.

James steered home at the back post to put the hosts ahead on five minutes and fired home a superb second on 23 minutes.

United pulled a goal back through Hayley Ladd but James punished United’s profligacy by completing her hat-trick on 85 minutes.

James said: “It’s always tough playing against Manchester United. But with the fans behind us, we love playing here at Stamford Bridge. Our performance from the start today, you could tell everyone was up for it.”

SHAW SHOTS EARNS CITY WIN

Manchester City didn’t miss a beat in the race to keep pace with the leaders as Khadija Shaw’s hat-trick helped them thump Liverpool 5-1.

The visitors briefly led when a mix-up between Khiara Keating and Alex Greenwood allowed Liverpool skipper Taylor Hinds to open the scoring.

Their lead lasted all of three minutes as Gemma Bonner put through her own net and then Shaw started the rout, nicking the ball from Fuka Nagano to stroke home.

Shaw headed home six minutes into first-half injury time to all but settle the contest and wrapped up her third hat-trick in her last four league games with an impudent backheel just before the hour mark.

Chloe Kelly added further sheen to the scoreline from the penalty spot to make it five and see City into second place.

TERLAND STRIKES TWICE IN SEAGULLS SUCCESS

Elsewhere, in-form Elisabeth Terland struck a late winner as Brighton sank Bristol City 3-2.

The Norwegian took her tally for the season to eight as she fired home from the edge of the area to open the scoring on the half-hour mark.

Abi Harrison lashed home a leveller early in the second half but Katie Robinson punctured the parity two minutes later.

Lauren Smith’s WSL newcomers looked to have nicked a point when Carrie Jones tapped home a rebound on 83 minutes but Terland had the final say from close range, a full six minutes into added time.

MEAD GETS GUNNERS GOING 

Arsenal restarted their season on a commanding note with a 2-1 win over Everton on Saturday lunchtime.

The scoreline suggests a close encounter but Jonas Eidevall’s side were in control throughout at Meadow Park, hitting the front through Caitlin Foord from close range after just nine minutes.

They were given a scare when Katja Snoeijs levelled midway through the first half but Beth Mead headed home at the far post to restore Arsenal’s lead just before the break.

SPURS EGDE LONDON DERBY THRILLER

In Sunday’s late game, Tottenham Hotspur downed a determined West Ham side 4-3 in a topsy-turvy thriller.

Grace Clinton calmly slotted the away side ahead after some neat footwork on the edge of the area before Risa Shimizu poked home from close range to level the scores on 35 minutes.

Celin Bizet then fired home to push Spurs ahead before the break and they were two up when Clinton slammed home from the edge of the area shortly after half time.

But two goals in eight minutes drew the Hammers level as Viviane Asseyi and an Amber Tysiak header placed the hosts on the brink of a stirring comeback win.

Spurs substitute Jessica Naz had other ideas however, striking home 15 minutes from time to keep Spurs within seven points of the top three.

DALY NETS VILLA WINNER

On Friday night, Rachel Daly’s first-half strike was enough to see Aston Villa past Leicester City.

Adriana Leon and Alisha Lehmann both passed up chances to add to Villa’s lead before half-time but the hosts held on for their fourth win of the season, climbing to seventh.

The Foxes, who came within a whisker of a point through Deanne Rose late on, remain without a win in eight games.

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