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  • Writer's pictureBethany Barker

Women’s Super League Week 13: Shock wins, Home debuts and Penalty drama

The last round of WSL games caused some teams to shake the table up with a total of 16 goals being scored

Wednesday 7th February 2024


Bristol's resilience shines through:

The first game of the weekend saw Bristol City and Aston Villa share the point after a 2-2 draw where the visitors came from behind twice.

The home side was given the lead by Jordan Nobbs in the 13th minute from a low drive past Shae Yanez from the edge of the area. However, the lead didn't last long as two minutes later Amalie Thestrup made it 1-1 as she capitalised on a misplaced clearance calmly placing her effort past Daphne van Domselaar. Following the break Adriana Leon brought Villa back in front with a 60th minute goal at the back post resulting from a cross from Anna Patten. Coming from behind again, City found their second equaliser in the 75th minute with Carrie Jones' excellent strike arrowing into the top corner from 25 yards. Villa held 72% of the possession which resulted in 36 shots but the lack of finishing paired with sloppy defensive mistakes meant Bristol were able to punish them and show resilience in the relegation battle.

Lauren Smith's reaction after her side comes from behind once again:

"We asked the players to leave everything out on the pitch, like they did in the second half last week, and they did. Every player has played a huge part in the 95 minutes and put a shift in and stuck their bodies on the line."

Nikkita Parris gets another double:

Next up at the weekend was a testing game for Brighton & Hove Albion- who had recently parted ways with manager Melissa Phillips- against Manchester United, where the home side came away with the win courtesy of Nikita Parris who continued her impressive form by adding another two goals to her tally.

The England forward scored her eighth goal of the season and it became the second successive game where she scored two in the game, extending her lead as United’s top goal-scorer. The first goal came in the 9th minute from Parris' right-footed shot at the centre of the box which was assisted by Geyse Ferreira. The second half saw United continue their high attacking possession (which ended up at 53% overall) and in the 64th minute, Parris doubled her side's lead with a bottom-left shot assisted again by Geyse Ferreira.

Marc Skinner on Nikkita Parris and her form ahead of the next international call-up:

"Nikita has shown all the qualities of a true number nine. She's in probably one of the best moments of form. It's got to be hard to ignore, right? Because I think she's in a really good space right now. Even her back-to-play stuff has got better - she's concentrating, linking play and her runs are perfect. She's in a real good space and hopefully she gets rewarded for that if Sarina [Wiegman] and her team think that's right at this moment."

West Ham surprise win to halt Arsenal's title race:

West Ham came from behind to get a surprise win against Arsenal in their first home win since November 2022, potentially denting Arsenal’s title ambitions and helping their fight against relegation as they climbed two places clear to ninth.

The visitors had Leah Williamson back in the starting eleven for the first time since 19 April 2023 after her ACL injury; however, her side wasn't able to mark the occasion with the three points. However, Alessia Russo gave the Gunners the lead in the 42nd minute, after they had numerous chances to score more goals, with a close-range header to the bottom right corner following a corner. Following the break, Viviane Asseyi converted a penalty with a right-footed shot to the bottom left corner to level the game. After Zinsberger was unable to clear a West Ham free kick Hawa Cissoko converted a left-footed shot from the centre of the box following a set-piece situation in the 58th minute. The home side defended throughout with Hawa Cissoko strong at the back with Mackenzie Arnold making some crucial saves in goal for them as well; Shelina Zadorsky was given her home debut alongside new transfer Marika Bergman Lundin.

It was West Ham's first-ever victory over their London rivals and made it back-to-back wins for Rehanne Skinner's side.

Seven straight wins to secure top four:

Manchester City took a while to break through the Leicester defence as they left it late to claim their win with Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly scoring twice in the final eight minutes to beat Leicester 2-0 to get another win, their seventh in a row.

Khadija Shaw- who has been in amazing form lately- had a goal marked as offside and hit the bar in a frustrating afternoon for Gareth Taylor’s side as Leicester provided some diligent defending to silence the title contenders for the first 80 minutes. But it was Lauren Hemp who made the crucial breakthrough by diverting home a cross 82 minutes in, from an acrobatic hook scorpion kick from close range, responding to Khadija Shaw's cross, to get it past the Leicester keeper Lize Kop. Chloe Kelly sealed the win for City in the 85th minute from a corner which curled directly into the far top corner.

Speaking on Hemp’s opener, Gareth Taylor stated:

“I’ve just managed to see it again. I think it’s outstanding. It’s one of the best goals I've seen. When I saw it in the moment, I didn't realise how much she had to do to get the ball in the goal. The way she's been able to manoeuvre that is incredible. It’s a magical goal. Honestly, when I saw it after, I was like ‘wow’. That’s a world-class goal. We needed something like that.”

Midtable clash ends with the points being shared:

Late drama at Prenton Park resulted in a 1-1 draw for Liverpool and Tottenham after impact sub, Marie Hobinger struck an equaliser in stoppage time. 

The game started scrappily- with both sides having equal possession in the end (49% to 51%)- with both teams battling to close the gap to the top four. The first half ended goalless after both sides struggled to create chances; Liverpool started the second half strong in possession but failed to test Barbora Votikova with any attacking chances. In the 71st minute, the deadlock was broken after Tottenham forward Martha Thomas set up Celin Bizet on the right, whose shot, which was a looped finish off her thigh, fired the visitors in front. It seemed that the visitors were the most likely to take the three points until substitute Marie Hobinger levelled from the 18-yard box, with a bottom-corner finish in the 91st minute. The draw proved to be a missed opportunity for both, repeating the result of the reverse fixture in November. 

Matt Beard on his side’s draw: 

“I don’t know if we have got away with one, but plenty of learnings today. We’ve drawn here today, drawn at West Ham, where we could have won. If you look at last year, we did not win a game on the road, this year we’re unbeaten, so I think for us it’s just about making sure if we can’t get three points, we get one.”

Penalties and seeing red as Chelsea secure another home win:

In Sunday’s late kick-off, Guro Reiten’s penalty double sealed another home victory for the Blues as Sorensen sees red in the 3-0 victory for the title holders.

The first penalty was given after Everton defender, Clare Wheeler appeared to make contact with Johanna Rytting Kaneryd’s ankle in the follow-through. The second penalty was due to contact on Mayra Ramirez- who made her first Chelsea start and home debut. In both instances, Guro Reiten converted the penalty with a left-footed shot to the bottom left corner and was clinical to get her side on the way to a win. The third goal came from Erin Cuthbert and was a team effort with one-touch passing and movement, finishing with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner, assisted by Mia Fishel, giving Cuthbert her third WSL goal this season. Soon after the third goal, Everton boss Brian Sorensen was sent off after a second yellow for reasons that weren’t particularly clear, leaving a lot of confusion around, with Everton suffering their fourth straight defeat in the WSL whilst Chelsea secured a 22nd home league win in a row.

Emma Hayes speaking on the game and weekend's results:

"You’ve seen with other results today that there isn’t an easy game in the league, and I said that to the players beforehand. I felt we made it a game because we were impatient. There were turnovers and the game became a little bit transitional...Tonight we take the three points but do I think we’ve got another level in us? Yes, I do. Definitely. The team knows that, too, and the good news is we’ve got a run of games to build."

Next up:

FA Women's League Cup: 7th February

FA Cup: 10th and 11th February

WSL: 16th, 17th and 18th February

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