There were goals a plenty as the WSL returned after the international break with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City scoring heavily to see off Bristol City, Liverpool and Reading. At the other end of the table, Yeovil and Brighton played out a draw as West Ham slipped at home to Everton.
Silky interplay between Fran Kirby and Ramona Bachmann saw the English attacker fire the ball out of the reach of Anke Preuß and into the back of the net 16 minutes in in Tranmere, as Chelsea asserted their dominance. The second of the match contentiously put away by Kirby as she converted from the spot, the referee letting some extreme encroachment slide before the attacker wrapped up her hat trick with a neat touch to create space in the box before sliding the ball home. The gloss put on the win by Adelina Engman late in the day, the substitute rising well to meet the ball in the air and loop it over Preuß.
Bullish attacking intent from Brooke Chaplen saw the Royals take the lead three minutes into the clash as she headed the ball beyond Steph Houghton, chasing into the open space to pick it back up before knocking it under Ellie Roebuck. A goal down but barely phased, the visitors soon restored parity when Nikita Parris picked up Jill Scott’s inch perfect pass and finished beyond Grace Moloney, the Citizens taking the lead through Parris 20 minutes later. The nippy attacker briefly firing ahead in the Golden Boot race as she completed her hat trick before half time, charging into the box and picking out the bottom left corner.
With a neat switch-over between herself and Parris, Demi Stokes added a fourth for the visitors, racing into a central position to slot the ball just inside of the left-hand upright. The comfortable lead fast diminished for City as Fara Williams clinically put away a penalty before Roebuck’s weak parry drop perfectly for Kirsty Pearce to poke home and set up a frantic last few minutes, the Citizens able to hold on for maximum points.
Showing steady improvements under Willie Kirk, the Blue Girls found themselves under the cosh for much of the match at Rush Green but were rewarded for doing just enough to keep the Irons out when they found the only goal of the match late in the day. Three minutes from time, Simone Magill’s deft ball over the top gave substitute Hannah Cain something to latch onto, the younger attacker managing to keep her nose ahead of Gilly Flaherty and Brooke Hendrix for long enough to pull the trigger and get the better of Anna Moorhouse.
On top from the get-go, the Seagulls needed the majority of the first half to break the deadlock, Victoria Williams’ neat header enough to catch Megan Walsh out, the goalkeeper kept busy for all 90 minutes. Facing relegation down, the Glovers found a later equaliser when Ellie Mason nipped the ball home from close range, but as the story of Yeovil’s season has been, it just wasn’t enough, the lone point far more beneficial for Brighton than the hosts.
Arsenal 4-0 Bristol City
Off to quick start, Vivianne Miedema used her neat footwork to get around the defence and claim the first goal of the match. With both sides a little lacklustre, the Vixens came out after the break strong but failed to make the best of their pressure, soon buckling as the Gunners came back at them. Miedema’s second of the match fast added to by Katie McCabe before the Dutch striker went back to the top of the goalscoring charts with a near-post finish.