17.03.2024

Manchester City and Chelsea stay neck and neck in WSL title race

Clinical Manchester City kept pace with champions Chelsea in a crucial weekend in the Barclays Women’s Super League.

Having been knocked out of both domestic cup competitions inside four days, City bounced back with a comfortable 4-1 win at Brighton. 

Lauren Hemp latched onto a through ball to put the visitors in front on 27 minutes and Mary Fowler converted a Hemp cross just before half-time. 

Khadija Shaw got her customary goal – a smart second-half header – before Laura Coombs tucked home a cutback to make it four. Lee Geum-min added a late consolation as City romped to a tenth WSL triumph on the trot. 

Gareth Taylor’s side offered a rousing response to stay level on points with title rivals Chelsea, who pulled off an impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal on Friday night.

The Gunners were blown away by the hosts’ start as Lauren James bagged the opener and Sjoeke Nusken struck twice. Despite Kim Little’s late deflected effort, there was no threat of an Arsenal comeback to the delight of a club record crowd of 32,970. 

Manchester United are on the fringes of the title race but had too much for Bristol City, claiming a 2-0 win over the bottom side. 

The scoreline flattered Marc Skinner’s side somewhat with the visitors’ deep defence frustrating them for long periods and Shania Hayles hitting the post. But a well-taken opener from Lisa Naalsund on nine minutes and a poached finish in second-half injury time proved more than enough for three points. 

Bristol City remain rooted to the bottom but the teams around them were unable to take advantage.

Second-bottom West Ham were outplayed by resurgent Liverpool, going down 3-1 at Prenton Park. Leanne Kiernan put the Reds in front, Missy Bo Kearns headed home and Sophie Roman Haug volleyed into the back of the net as they drew level on points with Manchester United in fourth. 

Everton showed more pluck but their late fightback wasn’t enough to avert a 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa.

Kenza Dali and Ebony Salmon scored inside five second-half minutes to give Villa the advantage. Everton’s Elise Stevenik was at the heart of the action in injury time, nodding home a free-kick to spark a comeback before being sent off for a second bookable offence.

And in a preview of April’s Adobe FA Cup semi-final, Matilda Vinberg’s second-minute strike was enough to earn Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 victory over Leicester City.

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