Beat­tie helps lift Manch­ester City to top af­ter Chelsea’s clean-sheet se­quence ends

The Guardian - Sport - - Football World Cup Play-off - Women’s Su­per League round-up Ben Fisher

seized top spot in the Women’s Su­per League, breez­ing past

4-0 af­ter dropped points for the first time this sea­son. A Mag­dalena Eriks­son own-goal gave

a last-gasp equaliser in a

2-2 draw at Adams Park be­fore City, the reign­ing cham­pi­ons, recorded a con­vinc­ing vic­tory against the Vix­ens.

Chelsea flat­tered to de­ceive for much of the first half be­fore Remi Allen put Read­ing ahead af­ter 35 min­utes, slot­ting home her sec­ond goal of the sea­son from close range af­ter latch­ing on to Fara Wil­liams’s back­heel. It was the first goal Chelsea had con­ceded in al­most 400 min­utes of WSL 1 foot­ball. Chelsea had forced Mary Earps, the Read­ing goal­keeper, into a cou­ple of early saves from Drew Spence and Fran Kirby but it was from a sec­ond-half dead ball that they even­tu­ally pros­pered.

Karen Car­ney earned a free-kick af­ter her quick foot­work eluded Rachel Fur­ness on the edge of the box and the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional got back to her feet to wrap her right boot round the ball and send a rasp­ing ef­fort be­yond Earps. Chelsea’s man­ager, Emma Hayes, made a per­son­nel change 10 min­utes later, with Eni Aluko re­plac­ing Spence.

Aluko soon made the de­sired im­pact, sweep­ing Kirby’s low cross past Earps for her fifth goal of the sea­son. But with al­most the last kick of the game, Hayes’s side sur­ren­dered their 100% league record when Jo Pot­ter’s deep free-kick was headed be­yond the Chelsea goal­keeper, Hed­wig Lin­dahl, by her own de­fender, Eriks­son, in the sec­ond minute of added time. “This is a long sea­son with a lot more games to be

Manch­ester City Bris­tol City Read­ing Chelsea

played and teams will not pick up points against Read­ing this sea­son as they are a top team,” Car­ney said.

Af­ter mak­ing light work of

LSK Kvin­ner in the Cham­pi­ons League in mid­week Manch­ester City beat Bris­tol City with an­other im­pres­sive dis­play – Izzy Chris­tiansen, Claire Em­slie and Ab­bie McManus find­ing the net be­fore Jen­nifer Beat­tie com­pleted the rout. Chris­tiansen opened the scor­ing from 12 yards, her sec­ond penalty in four days, her third goal in a week and her sev­enth of the sea­son.

also gained ground on sec­ond-placed Chelsea with a 3-0 win over as the Gun­ners wel­comed a new era un­der the man­ager, Joe Mon­te­murro, at Meadow Park. Ar­se­nal named the 48-year-old for­mer

Ar­se­nal Sun­der­land

Mel­bourne City as­sis­tant coach as Pe­dro Martínez Losa’s suc­ces­sor last Tues­day and wit­nessed his team pick off the visi­tors with three sec­ond-half goals, cour­tesy of Louise Quinn, Vi­vianne Miedema and Danielle Carter.

The win moved Ar­se­nal to within three points of Chelsea and five off the new league lead­ers.

On Sat­ur­day moved up to third with a 1-0 win against

cour­tesy of Ni­amh Charles’s neat lob. Mean­while se­cured their first three points since re­turn­ing to the top flight with a 2-0 win over

who on Fri­day an­nounced their in­ten­tions to be­come a pro­fes­sional team next sea­son. Court­ney Sweet­manKirk and Chloe Kelly scored the goals. “We’ve been hav­ing good per­for­mances but not get­ting the points on the board,” Kelly said. “I think in this game we proved that we de­serve to be in this league.”

City, Yeovil, Liver­pool Birm­ing­ham Ever­ton

The Chelsea mid­fielder Drew Spence breaks for­ward dur­ing the 2-2 draw against Read­ing Chelsea FC via Getty

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