By Ella Fenwick
Arsenal suffered their first defeat in the 2019/20 Women’s Super League against Chelsea (2-1), dropping them down to third in the league table. It proved to be revenge for Chelsea a year after being thrashed by the Gunners 5-0. Daniella Van de Donk opened the scoring for Arsenal, but Chelsea levelled shortly after with a goal from Beth England. Victory to Chelsea was brought by the winning strike from Maria Thorisdottir, ending Arsenal’s unbeaten run which had stretched back to January.
Manchester City remain top of the league with an unbeaten streak this season after winning four matches. Most recently they defeated Birmingham 3-0, leaving the Blues at the bottom of the league with no wins this season. In a quiet first half, Keira Walsh scored the first goal for Manchester City before Tessa Wullaert and Lee Geum-min netted after the break.
Manchester United climbed to fourth in the league after a 3-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur. Kirsty Hanson scored the first goal for United, followed by an unfortunate own goal from Tottenham Hotspur, before Jane Ross completed the scoring. Lauren James, despite being the youngest player on the pitch at 18 years old, received the Player of the Match award after showing a promising attitude throughout despite being booked stoppage time of the match.
Liverpool climbed above Birmingham to 11th place on the table, after a 1-1 draw with Bristol City, who are now in 10th place. This has left the points tight between the bottom four places, as Brighton remain in 9th place after a 3-1 lose to West Ham.
The Hammers are level on points with Reading who won a thrilling match against Everton. The Royals won 3-2, with their third goal being scored in the 70th minute by Lisa-Marie Utland. The game began in erratic fashion, with the first four goals being scored in the opening 23 minutes. Reading’s were both netted by Jade Moore, while Everton’s were scored firstly by Chloe Kelly then Lucy Graham.
After a short break, the Women’s Super League returns on October 27, where Arsenal will be given the opportunity to interrupt Manchester City’s winning streak this season. In addition, Birmingham have a match against Liverpool to see if they are able to overtake them comfortably in the league.
Pressure has been put on the Women’s Super League to capitalise on large audiences for the rest of the season following a steep increase in the following of women’s football since the success of the Lionesses at the World Cup. At the beginning of the season, a major match between Manchester City and Manchester United had an attendance of 31,213 at the Etihad Stadium, which is the highest ever within the Women’s Super league. Another large match (24,564 fans) that took place in a major stadium was at Stamford bridge between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.