Arsenal claimed their first title since 2012 with a win over Brighton at the Amex as Manchester City sealed second with a narrow win against Yeovil as Birmingham bested Liverpool. Elsewhere Everton clinched a win against Reading as West Ham saw off Bristol City before Chelsea hammered Yeovil in a mid-week clash.
Needing just one win to seal the title and avoid a last day, winner take all, shoot-out with City, the Gunners got their bid for title glory underway in fine fashion at the Amex. Free-scoring and unstoppable this season, Vivianne Miedema gave the visitors the lead just six minutes in with a drive from range, the ball clunking off of the bar and in. One became two just after the half hour when Katie McCabe, teed up by Miedema, pulled the ball across her body to scoop it into the bottom right corner.
The match put beyond any reasonable doubt 20 minutes from time when Beth Mead cut in from the left before emphatically smashing the ball into the back of the net from over 25 yards. The gloss put on by another different goalscorer six minutes later, Daniëlle van de Donk with time and space to take a touch before sending the ball home.
Up and running just 19 second in, the Glovers looked to provide one of the surprises of the season as Olivia Fergusson took a second to compose herself before curling the all inside the near post. On their backs and rocking, the Citizens pulled level when Nikita Parris fired the ball home on the half hour following a questionable penalty decision. Still not having things all their own way, the hosts found their winner after the hour as Lauren Hemp sent an imperious header over Megan Walsh and into the far side of the net.
The Blues took the lead at St. Andrew's after a neat give and go between Ellen White and Charlie Wellings with the younger of the two letting fire from range only for Fran Kitching to tip her effort on to the post. The deadlock broken a half second later as White rushed in, beating her marker, to send the ball over the line and rippling into the back of the net. The lead doubled by the goal-getter just nine minutes later as she rose well to nod Chloe Arthur’s dinked ball back over the line and leave the Reds no room for a comeback.
Sloppy defending from the Toffees gifted Reading their opener eight minutes in with Remi Allen well placed to poke the ball home. The lead almost standing until the break with the hosts back on terms five minutes before half-time, Inessa Kaagman’s fourth of the season a well taken chip over Grace Moloney after the goalkeeper had rolled the ball out to her. The match turned after the break with Chaney Boye-Hlorkah finding the bottom corner from over 25-yards before Simone Magill made it three with her second bite of the cherry. A late goal from Fara Williams wasn’t enough for the Royals
Bristol’s last match of the season was a slow burner at the Stoke Gifford with the first goal of the match scored on the hour when Heather Payne knocked Abi Harrison’s square pass beyond Becky Spencer. The lead only lasted 15 minutes before the Irons pulled level, Leanne Kiernan’s recycled effort enough to get the better of Sophie Baggaley. The match decided in the last knockings of regular time as Jane Ross nodded her Brianna Visalli’s inch-perfect cross home for her seventh goal of the season.
Yeovil Town 0-8 Chelsea
Out of the Champions League with no cup final appearances this season, their best-case scenario a third place finish, Chelsea travelled down to Huish Park with a point to prove, their frustrations taken out on the already downed Glovers. A goal to the good four minutes in thanks to a neat Bethany England strike, the Blues refused to relent, the second of the night slammed home by Erin Cuthbert from outside the box.
Goals three and four were scored within a minute of each other just before the half hour as first, England nodded a corner home before Adelina Engman (already with two assists for the evening) tucked the ball into the bottom right corner. England found time to complete her hat trick in first half stoppage time with a low finish leaving the hosts asking what could be done to stop their opposition.
The onslaught continued after the break as five became six, Cuthbert’s second of the night made of her own efforts to close down the ball, her unaccompanied run into the box wrapped up with a nip into the bottom left. Introduced into the match with less than 15 minutes left on the clock, Fran Kirby still found time to grab herself a brace, her second fired home just three minutes after her first. The Blues left to travel back home from Somerset eight goals better off, Yeovil left to look to a kinder outing on Saturday.