Saturday, June 25

WSL roundup: gameweek 21

There were results with big ramifications at either end of the WSL table in the penultimate round of fixtures across gameweek 21.

The title race will go down to the final day of the season should Arsenal get a result against rivals Tottenham on Wednesday evening, after both the Gunners and Chelsea took maximum points – with varying degrees of convincingness.

The Champions League race is also poised to go down to the wire after Manchester United and Manchester City picked up wins.

Chelsea needed a second half Pernille Harder penalty to edge past basement side Birmingham and leave themselves one win away from the WSL title.

The Blues struggled up against a tenacious Birmingham, but finally broke down Darren Carter’s side 19 minutes from time as Niamh Charles’ header struck the hand of the unfortunate Lisa Robertson.

It proved decisive and means that Emma Hayes’ side will lift the WSL title for a third season on the trot if they get the better of Manchester United next Sunday.

Arsenal maintained the pressure on WSL leaders Chelsea with a thumping 7-0 victory over an injury-hit Aston Villa.

A Vivianne Miedema brace had given the Gunners a 2-0 half time lead – which would have been even bigger were it not for the heroics of Sian Rogers in the Villa goal.

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But Arsenal went up a notch in the second half, with a Rachel Corsie own goal plus goals from Beth Mead, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Stina Blackstenius and Nikita Parris – her long awaited 50th in the WSL – sealing an emphatic win.

Khadija Shaw scored four goals as Manchester City survived a Brighton fightback and ran out emphatic 7-2 winners over the Seagulls to keep themselves in the driving seat to secure Champions League football.

Ellie Roebuck made a crucial save to keep out Julia Zigiotti Olme with City leading 3-2. The save proved pivotal; moments later the hosts broke away and Shaw completed her hat-trick.

Caroline Weir, Lauren Hemp and Alex Greenwood were also on the scoresheet for City, while Zigiotti and Inessa Kaagman netted for Brighton.

Manchester United ensured the race for Champions League football will go down to the final day of the campaign as they signed off at Leigh Sports Village for the season with a 3-0 win over West Ham.

Martha Thomas nodded home Leah Galton’s cross to give United the lead, before turning provider as her cross was put into her own net by West Ham defender Grace Fisk. Galton added a third in the second half, turning home Alessia Russo’s cross.

The result sees Manchester United move back up to third – but rivals City will leapfrog them into the final European spot if they win their game in hand against Birmingham on Wednesday.

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There were three goals in six final pulsating minutes at Walton Hall Park as Tottenham and Everton played out a 2-2 draw.

Asmita Ale tucked home Eveliina Summanen’s cross from close range to give Tottenham a first half lead, and it looked to have settled proceedings before a frenetic finale ensued.

Danielle Turner headed home an equaliser for Everton with five minutes left on the clock following some magic footwork and a dinked delivery from Kenza Dali, only for Spurs to go up the other end and re-take the lead straight away via a Jess Naz turn of pace and Josie Green finish. Megan Finnigan popped up with a far post header to bury Hannah Bennison’s delivery and rescue a point in the 91st minute.

Leicester edged closer to WSL safety as they took a point at home via a stalemate with Reading.

Demi Lambourne did well to deny Natasha Dowie in the closing stages, while Grace Maloney tipped over Lucy O’Brien’s effort at the death as neither side could find a break through.

The draw was the Foxes first in the WSL, and means their top flight status will be confirmed if Birmingham fail to beat Manchester City on Wednesday evening.

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