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  • Writer's pictureBethany Barker

Goals Galore: Women's Super League Round 8 Recap

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

As the international break begins here is a recap of some of the main talking points from the last weekend.

Tuesday 28th November 2023

 

Bristol vs Manchester United:

The first game of the weekend saw Manchester United defeat bottom-of-the-table Bristol City in a 2-0 away defeat at Ashton Gate, which saw two second-half goals- from Hinata Miyazawa and Nikita Parris- secure the three points for the visitors, in front of a record crowd of 14,138.


In the first half United- who were looking for a victory after the disappointment of the Manchester derby last week- were left frustrated with the home side's defence. But after a long-range strike took a big deflection off Mustaki to end up at the wrong foot of Olivia Clark (Bristol's goalkeeper) United got the opener to send them ahead; five minutes later Parris was left unmarked six yards out, being able to head in the left-wing cross from Ella Toone and scoring her sixth goal in her last five games, and overtaking her overall tally of WSL goals from last season (4). United held 72% of the possession in the game and had 8/24 shots on target, improving on their 1-3 defeat at Old Trafford last week.


Mark Skinner on his team's performance:

"We have the quality, system and style but we just did not take our chances in the first half. In the second half, they did everything we wanted to do and deserved the win. Today there were moments where I am really happy and I can see what the future is like for us."

Chelsea vs Leicester:

The next game this round saw league leaders Chelsea defeat Leicester City in a thrilling game which ended 5-2 for the home side, and gave them their 20th consecutive home win. Chelsea- who came off an impressive 4-1 victory in the Champions League midweek against Paris FC- showed their quality against a Leicester team that showed a resilient fight.


Within the first half, Chelsea went two up in the first five minutes- with Lauren James opening the scoring in only 70 seconds as she calmly slotted the ball in after Leicester's poor pass and an own goal from the visitors as the ball rebounded off Courtney Nevin to give the home side the advantage- before Leicester pulled one back through Rantala's firing shot. Kerr- who came off the back of scoring the hattrick in the home clash against Pris FC- restored the two-goal advantage by providing the finishing touch to Niamh Charles' cross, before Sam Tierney kept Leicester in it before half-time through a close-range shot after Aimee Palmer's free-kick had been saved by Ann-Katrin Berger. James grabbed her second goal of the day in the second half- a chip over Leitzig- to help extend the lead before Aggie Beever-Jones got her fifth goal in five games after heading in Eve Perisset's cross, to help wrap up the three points for the home side who gained 59% of the possession in the 90.


Emma Hayes' comments on the game:

"Sometimes when you go up so early in a game you can get complacent. We switched off and gave away two cheap goals but it was a really good attacking display and we were so threatening going forward."

Liverpool vs Brighton:

Liverpool were able to add four to their goal tally against Brighton at Prenton Park, responding to their 5-1 defeat last week against Chelsea, which saw defender Gemma Bonner make her 135th appearance.


Bonner capped her record appearance off by scoring the home side's first goal- within 27 minutes- with a header after timing her near-post run to meet Hobinger's cross from the left, which was followed by Shanice Van de Sanden scoring the second goal just before half-time after Haug found space to play her in. Ceri Holland headed in the third goal in the second half (63rd minute) after a cross from Haug on the byline. Sophie Roman Haug- after getting two assists- got the fourth during stoppage time, after the team got the ball from ‘the keeper to the back of the net' in just 14 seconds, to help the Reds get their first win in five games with 58% possession to mark a record appearance for Bonner.


Liverpool forward and goal scorer, Shanice van de Sanden's view on the game:

"This is our best performance of the season so far. We need to keep that up and then focus on the next one."

Arsenal vs West Ham:

Arsenal gained their sixth straight WSL win after beating West Ham comfortably, with two goals from Beth Mead and Frida Maanum.


Arsenal's first goal (in just 2 minutes) came from Frida Maanum's long-range effort from a set piece, to give them the early lead deceiving Megan Walsh on the goalkeeper's West Ham debut. Down the other end, Arsenal goalkeeper, Manuela Zinsberger kept out Atkinson's late drive and West Ham's captain, Cissoko came close to a consolation goal but could not get the ball over the line during a corner. Beth Mead was making only her second successive start following her return from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and was able to double the lead in the 18th minute, curling the ball in to get her first of the season. Just before the half-time break, Mead was able to add a close-range shot to the scoreline and get her second goal, these two goals marked 428 days since her last WSL goal and meant she became only the second player in WSL history to reach 100 goal involvements. The Gunners kept a clean sheet and kept 59% of the possession.


Jonas Eidevall on Beth Mead's goals:

"The first goal was brilliant. She showed good self-confidence, cutting in and using the left foot. She constantly puts herself in good scoring positions, so hopefully she has some really good days with England and can come back and contribute a lot for us in the final block before Christmas."

Aston Villa vs Everton:

Everton got their second win of the season by beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park to separate them slightly from the bottom of the WSL table by four points.


Everton's first goal came from an own goal from Villa defender Anna Patten as Holmgaard hit the ball across the face of the goal, which was followed shortly by a near-post equaliser by Rachel Daly, just one minute and 39 seconds later, as she finished the cross from Hanson. After a foul on Heather Payne, Everton gained a penalty (in the 74th minute) which was converted by Nathalie Bjorn as she sent the Villa goalkeeper the wrong way and proved enough for visitors to gain the three points despite only holding 38% possession throughout the game.


Everton boss, Brian Sørensen, on Sunday's win:

"We showed good character and mentality to not let [the equalising] goal shake us. We just kept going. It's still a long, long way to go and we know that on our day we can beat every team around us. We need to focus on performance and then results will follow."

Manchester City vs Tottenham:

Manchester City continued their positive performance- after the Manchester derby- to outclass Tottenham at the Joie Stadium where the goals flowed (scorers being: Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw, Lauren Hemp, Jill Roord and Laura Coombs) to end Tottenham's unbeaten run.


Shaw scored her second hat-trick against Tottenham in the first thirty-seven minutes of the game; her first came after 23 minutes when a cross from the left by Ouahabi was met by a header from Shaw, then Jill Roord knocked in a cross which was turned in by the forward and her sixth hat-trick in English football was completed after she was put under pressure in the penalty box where Shaw controlled Laia Aleixandri's cross before firing a low shot into the Spurs goal. After the half-time break, Hemp curled a shot into the top corner from 20 yards to give the home side their fourth goal. Roord's close-range header got her, her fifth goal in eight matches, before Laura Coombs' double gave Spurs their heaviest WSL defeat. City held 57% of the possession and had half of their shots on target (10 out of 20) which has helped them get back up into the Champions League spots.


Gareth Taylor speaking about City's win:

"It is one game. We have had so many opportunities and every game can potentially turn into that score-line tonight. I think it is such a positive for us. We knew when we come up short last season it was scoring them at the top end and keeping them out at the bottom. The pressure for us always starts at the top end of the pitch."

The Race for the Golden Boot:

Player

WSL appearances

Goals

Team

Khadija Shaw

7

6

Manchester City

Lauren James

7

6

Chelsea

Martha Thomas

8

6

Tottenham

Jill Roord

8

5

Manchester City

Aggie Beever-Jones

6

5

Chelsea

Elisabeth Terland

8

5

Brighton

The top four teams won with an aggregate score of 17-2 this weekend.

Up Next in Women's Football:

The Nations League returns (29th November to the 2nd December)

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