Man City’s title hopes dented as Chelsea roar into contention

Stina Blackstenius’ late double strike put another twist in the Barclays Women’s Super League title race as Arsenal got the better of Manchester City 2-1.

Lauren Hemp looked set to give title-chasing City all three points, which would have left them on the brink of a first title since 2016.

Instead, Arsenal came from behind to win on the road, moving up to second but opening the door for Chelsea.

And in Emma Hayes’ final home game in charge of Chelsea, the reigning champions grabbed their opportunity, winning 8-0 against Bristol City to boost their goal difference and reignite their title challenge.

Elsewhere, Liverpool took a giant step towards fourth place as they beat Manchester United 1-0, while Leicester City earned a 1-1 draw away to West Ham.

On Saturday, Tottenham came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Everton, before Alisha Lehmann gave Aston Villa victory at Brighton.

Blackstenius double reignites title race

Manchester City could have wrapped up the title with victory over Arsenal, combined with Chelsea failing to beat Bristol City in the late game.

They looked set to hold up their end of the bargain when Lauren Hemp put them into the lead after quarter of an hour at Joie Stadium.

A fine finish on the turn gave City an advantage in a first half that they dominated. But after the break, Arsenal showed much more intent.

They struggled to turn that into a goal, but eventually the pressure told. From a corner, the ball bobbled around the box and Stina Blackstenius was fastest to react to Caitlin Foord’s nod across goal, poking home.

That came just before injury time and two minutes later, Blackstenius was at it again, peeling away from the last defender and guiding home Kim Little’s ball with a deft header.

From dreams of being crowned champions, City suddenly have it all to do, with Aston Villa next up in their final game of the season as their fans bid farewell to club legelnd Steph Houghton in her final home game.

Blues back in business

Defeat to Liverpool in midweek looked as though it had ended Chelsea’s bid for the title, but after the turnaround at Manchester City, they responded with a thumping 8-0 win over relegated Bristol City.

Guro Reiten was the star of the show, scoring four goals, and Chelsea found the net six times in the second half to move ahead of City’s goal difference. They trail Gareth Taylor’s side by three points but have two games remaining to City’s one, so that swing in goal difference may prove decisive.

Reiten gave Chelsea a perfect start, breaking the deadlock from the spot after six minutes in Emma Hayes’ final home game in charge at Kingsmeadow.

Sjoeke Nusken made it 2-0 at the break, but in the second half, Chelsea cut loose. Aggie Beever-Jones made it three before Reiten added a fourth. The goal difference factor drove Chelsea on and they added three more in a seven-minute spell, two for Reiten to take her personal tally to four, either side of a score for Niamh Charles.

Beever-Jones then notched her second two minutes from time, taking Chelsea’s points difference to +46, one better than City, and leaving the title race on a knife edge.

Liverpool complete dream week

Liverpool brought down the curtain on their time at Prenton Park with a 1-0 win over Manchester United, finishing off a spectacular week.

The Reds upset Chelsea in midweek, winning 4-3, and they backed that up in impressive fashion against United.

Jenna Clark’s header in first-half injury-time proved the difference between the sides, as she got a touch on Marie Höbinger’s corner to put Liverpool in front.

And it was Liverpool who looked the more threatening side after the break, Sophie Roman Haug missing two chances to put the game to bed in the final ten minutes.

It did not matter in the end though as Liverpool saw it out to take the three points – the margin they currently have over United with one game remaining.

Leicester held at West Ham

First-half goals for Riko Ueki and Sophie Howard meant that West Ham and Leicester could not be split.

West Ham hit the front after 12 minutes as Honoka Hayashi broke through before finding compatriot Ueki, who fired into the bottom corner.

But Leicester hit back as Jutta Rantala curled in a delightful ball to the near post, with Howard powering her way to it to nod home.

After the break, Leicester looked to cause West Ham problems and had the ball in the net through Janice Cayman, only for it to be pulled back for a foul on Hayashi by Lena Petermann.

Yuka Momiki had missed another chance for Leicester just prior to that, with Mackenzie Arnold having to be alert to deny her later in the half as the Foxes had to settle for a draw.

Spurs fight back to draw at Everton

Goals either side of half-time from Drew Spence and Bethany England earned Tottenham a 2-2 draw away to Everton.

The point clinched sixth spot for Spurs, but they were pushed hard by Everton who raced into a 2-0 lead.

Sara Holmgaard opened the scoring on ten minutes, firing into the top corner after Spurs failed to deal with a Lucy Hope cross.

And the lead was doubled five minutes later, Holmgaard nodding down a corner at the back post before Justine Vanhaevermaet poked home in the goalmouth scramble.

Spurs responded, England going close, before Spence capitalised on some confusion at the back by Everton to sneak in and cut the deficit just before the break.

And it was a similar story at the start of the second half, Vanhaevermaet caught in possession and England on home to tap in the equaliser.

Tottenham had momentum with them and had several chances to take the lead, with Courney Brosnan and some profligate finishing keeping it level as Spurs warmed up for the Adobe Women’s FA Cup final with a point.

Villa take points at Brighton

Alisha Lehmann’s strike just after the hour was enough to hand Aston Villa all three points in their clash with Brighton.

After a goalless first half, Lehmann was on hand to fire home after Rachel Daly’s shot was blocked. Making it two in two games, Lehmann’s effort beat Melina Loeck to give Villa the lead on the road.

And with Carla Ward announcing this week that she would be stepping down at the end of the season, Villa finished the stronger, with Ebony Salmon causing problems after coming on. They did not add a second, but did enough to secure the win.

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