Chelsea in action at Kingsmeadow

Women’s Super League Round-Up

Manchester United have climbed to the top of the Women’s Super League on goal difference, leaving London sides Arsenal and Chelsea level on points with the leaders after all three claimed maximum points following the latest round of fixtures played this weekend.

Arsenal’s strong defence held off Reading in a tight 1-0 win away from home on Sunday with the Gunners’ Austrian goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger now holding the most consecutive clean sheets in Women’s Super League history, with her eighth recorded during this fixture.

Reading’s head coach Kelly Chambers advised post-game that the team were gutted not to come away with anything after such a tough contest and remain without a point so far this season.

It was Stina Blackstenius’ first half strike which won the game for Arsenal with Kim Little seeing her spot-kick saved to deny a more comfortable lead.

Their close rivals Tottenham Hotspur also secured a 1-0 win over ninth-place Liverpool after an unfortunate own goal denied the Reds a chance at climbing up the table.

Liverpool had some injuries going into the fixture and took 58 minutes to claim their first shot on target leaving Spurs calm and composed in their control to finish the weekend seventh in the league.

Third place Chelsea dominated away to Everton with a 3-1 victory at Walton Hall Park when two goals from Pernille Harder and a stoppage time third from Niamh Charles sealed the win.

Everton’s goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan was fresh off the back of helping the Republic of Ireland secure the nation’s first appearance at a major tournament, beating Scotland to qualify for next summer’s World Cup, but was unable to keep out Harder’s spot kick after an undeniable foul in the box.

It was a difficult week for Chelsea with their manager Emma Hayes undergoing emergency surgery, but the Blues displayed a strong performance to leave them third in the table.  

East London’s West Ham denied Aston Villa a chance at three wins in a row after goals from Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Honoka Hayashi gave the Hammers their second win of the season.

It was one of the more dramatic contests of the weekend, with Alisha Lehmann having her penalty kick saved for the home side after a handball in the box.

Hawa Cissoko’s red card for the visitors in stoppage time led to a heated reaction from head coach Paul Konchesky, which saw him sent down the tunnel early.

It was a rather reckless red for Cissoko after striking an opponent in the dying minutes.   

In the Championship, there was mixed fortune for the London sides with Crystal Palace recording a 2-0 defeat at home to Sunderland.

It was a rather quiet first half at Hayes Lane, but Palace came out fighting in the second half with plenty of chances to take the lead.

Palace were later denied the chance to grasp second place with the Black Cats sealing two right footed strikes to give them their first win of the campaign.

In Crayford, Charlton Athletic had to bounce back after conceding early two goals to visitors Blackburn at The Oakwood.

Strikes from Melissa Johnson and Emily Simpkins secured a point for Charlton, who gained control of the second half and now sit third in the Championship table.

London City Lionesses sit on a four-game unbeaten streak after a 5-0 away win at Coventry, moving to second in the table with ten points and just three behind leaders Bristol City Robins.

Sarah Ewens put the home side 1-0 up after four minutes and went on to score two more to make it a total of five goals for the Scottish striker this season.

Grace Neville and Atlanta Primus added to the score sheet to make it five against Coventry who are yet to secure a point this season.

After an advantageous weekend for the London teams in both the Women’s Super League and Championship, Arsenal and Chelsea will look to continue their superior run of form this week in the opening matches of the Champions League group stage.

Arsenal will travel to current holders Lyon on Wednesday with Chelsea making the trip to Paris to face in-form PSG on Thursday

Elsewhere this week, Arsenal and England forward Beth Meade finished runner-up to Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award presented in Paris on Monday.

Featured image credit: FromMorningToMidnight via Wikimedia Commons:

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