Barclays Women's Super League gameweek 2 roundup

Reading 0-2 Manchester City

The Blues picked up their second league win of the season away from home to Reading in an early kick-off on Sunday off the back of a 7-1 thrashing of FF Lugano in the Champions League midweek.

The Royals made two changes from the side that beat Liverpool in their season opener, Jo Potter left out the side and Milly Farrow on the bench. They were replaced by Maz Pacheco and Ammelia Eikland - the Norweigan international making her debut for Reading. Georgia Stanway was left out of the Manchester City squad, after it was announced that she will be out for around six weeks with an injury picked up in Switzerland

German forward Pauline Bremer opened the scoring for City 34 minutes into the first half, soon after a brilliant save from keeper Grace Moloney, Bremer picked up the ball on the edge of box after a defensive error and tucked it away sweetly into the bottom right corner of the net.

Persistence from Bremer earned her a brace 59 minutes in, once again sloppiness in the Royal's defence led to the German striker picking up the ball, this time inside the box. She fired low, with her shot being met by Moloney, but the parry out fell back to her feet and the goalkeeper could not keep it out, despite her best efforts. Janine Beckie and Jill Scott both came close to adding their names to the score sheet later on, but both were not able to reach the target.

Despite the loss, a number of Royals players impressed in the match - notably Grace Moloney who was also instrumental in their win in the first weekend, defending her goal well when troubled.

Everton 2-0 Bristol City

The Toffees found themselves top of the table after their first home game against Bristol, and with two wins in a row. However, before the match they had been winless against the Robins in their past seven games, and Bristol had more wins against Everton than any other side in the Super League.

Chloe Kelly opened the scoring in the 44th minute. After picking the ball up around 30 yards from goal, she danced through the defence before unleashing a powerful shot low and to the left. Her effort defeated keeper Sophie Baggaly, bouncing off of one post before ending in the back of the net in the other corner.

It only took one more minute for the Toffees to double their lead and Kelly earn herself a brace. Lucy Graham picked the ball up on the left wing near the halfway line and spun her way past a Bristol defender. Running at goal, she laid the ball off of youngster Molly Pike who provided a short pass for Chloe Kelly to smash the ball into the top corner with an absolutely marvellous finish that no keeper would have had any chance of saving.

The blues peppered Bristol with shots for the majority of the second half, whilst Kelly came close hitting the bar from outside of the box before her shot deflected off the back of Bristol's goalkeeper and away from any danger.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Liverpool

It was another disappointing outing for Liverpool this weekend as they fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur at the Hive in London.

Things started positively for Vicky Jepson’s side with Amy Rodgers having some early chances, coming close to scoring twice in the opening few minutes. The intensity fizzled out as the first-half ticked away and Tottenham grew into the game, pinning the Reds back and drawing a number of saves from Liverpool keeper Anke Preuss.

It seemed as if the half would finish goalless, both sides accepting the 0-0 scoreline. But, Rachel Furness collided with Becky Jane in the box on the brink of half-time and the referee blew for a penalty. Furness then stepped up and fired past Preuss, Spurs’ pressure paying off and resulting in a 1-0 lead at the break.

Liverpool failed to create many clear-cut chances throughout the second-half and things became even more difficult when Niamh Fahey saw red for a professional foul on Rosella Ayane, who beat the defender for pace and was clean through on goal.

Things get more difficult for the Reds as they face Manchester United in two weeks time in the WSL, whilst Tottenham take on West Ham.

Brighton and Hove Albion 1 - 1 Chelsea

Hope Powell's Brighton stunned many by holding Chelsea to a point at home, although the Seagulls were nearly able to secure all three from the match.

Millie Bright found herself in a brilliant position early on in the match, receiving a looping ball over the top of the defence from Drew Spence, but the Lionesses international fired well over the bar from close range. Chelsea dominated the majority of the first half, but were not able to find the target.

Both sides had a number of chances in the second half (although Chelsea had more), but it was Brighton who netted the opener for the match in the 84th minute. After a failed corner, a wonderful piece of interplay between debutant Danique Kerkdijk and Aileen Whelan resulted in the latter smashing the ball on the half volley from inside of the 18-yard box into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

Just when Brighton had thought that they had secured a valuable three points against an extremely strong Chelsea side, they dreams were quashed. Millie Bright headed a ball long ball over the cross to Guro Reiten whose shot deflected off the woodwork, but the Finnish Adelina Engman was at the rescue for the blues, firing into the roof of the net from six yards out

West Ham United 1-0 Birmingham City

West Ham picked up a win at home to Birmingham after losing their first match of the season 2-1 against WSL title holders Arsenal at Boreham Wood, although the Hammers looked strong for a large portion of the match - Kenza Dali came close to equalling the scores on a number of occasions.

Summer signing Jacynta Galabadaarachchi made her first start for West Ham after having made an appearance as a substitute in the club's season opener.

The only goal of the game was provided by Canadian forward Adriana Leon in the 27th minute. The ball fell to Martha Thomas on the right hand side of the box, who played it across to Leon on the left via Kate Longhurst in the middle. The striker then picked up the ball and calmly slotted it into the net, keeper Hannah Hampton not able to reach the ball in the bottom corner.

There was controversy in the second half Lucy Staniforth's 35 yard effort seemed to have crossed the line. The ball was parried by Courtney Brosnan off the bar and it then ricocheted down into the ground, from replays it looked as if it may have gone in, but the referee adjudged it to not be a goal

Manchester United 0 - 1 Arsenal

A late deflected goal from substitute Danielle van de Donk broke down the Manchester United defence, and player of the match Mary Earps, to give the champions all three points. 

The game, played in front of a boisterous crowd at Leigh Sports Village, started as a cagey affair with little to separate the sides in the first 30 minutes. Coming off the back of a spirited display last weekend at their Manchester rivals, Man United looked to frustrate Arsenal with a mixture of tough tackling and last ditch interceptions to keep the scores level. 

The Gunners never hit top gear in the 90 minutes but grew into the match and managed to create extra space for Kim Little to make a number of darting runs into the box. However, having their first European tie in five years seemed to take its toll on Arsenal’s intricate football and any time they managed to breach the United defence, they came up against Mary Earps who made a number of important saves from Little and Vivianne Miedema.

The home side created a couple of chances including Jane Ross shooting straight at Manuela Zinsberger when through on goal but the second half was dominated by waves of attack from the away side. The introduction of van de Donk, replacing Jordan Nobbs on her first start since November, brought another dimension to the Arsenal attack and when the ball fell to the Dutch midfielder, she slotted home past a despondent Earps with only a minute left of normal time. 

Plenty of positives for both teams with their opening couple of matches with the WSL newcomers holding their own against last season’s top two but Arsenal will be delighted to make it two wins out of two in their defence of the title.


Tottenham vs Liverpool - Hannah Pinnock

Manchester United vs Arsenal - Liron Velleman