WSL: Man City survive major scare; Press bags for Man Utd; Arsenal thump Spurs (video)
The Women’s Super League (WSL) title race looks set to last until the final day of the 2020-21 season after the dramatic results which unfolded on Saturday, with Manchester City narrowly avoiding a crippling draw with a late winner to go above defending champions Chelsea…
Manchester City 1-0 Reading
For 86 minutes, 7th-place Reading looked like ending Manchester City’s title dreams in a painfully unceremonious fashion, as the two sides barreled toward a 0-0 draw. Despite the difference in shots (20-3), shots on target (9-2) and possession (69-31), Manchester City couldn’t find a way past the goalkeeping heroics of Grace Moloney.
The final five minutes proved the difference, though, just as Lauren Hemp went on a brilliant, weaving run through Reading’s penalty area. Hemp made her way to the end line and crossed into the six-yard box where Chloe Kelly perfectly timed her arrival to redirect the ball past Moloney for the game’s only goal.
Saturday’s results push Manchester City into first place, a point ahead of Chelsea, in the WSL table ahead of the Blues’ matchweek 18 fixture on Sunday (Watch live, 9:30 am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com). The de facto title decider between Manchester City and Chelsea is now just two matchweeks (and less than a month) away, set for April 25.
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Manchester United 2-0 West Ham United
USWNT star Christen Press scored what can only be described as a textbook center forward’s goal to seal Manchester United’s 2-0 triumph over West Ham in a game played at Old Trafford.
Lauren James had only just headed home the opener for the Red Devils six minutes earlier, before Press made a darting run through midfield and burst through the West Ham backline at just the right moment to get on the end of Jackie Groenen’s through ball while also remaining onside. The first-time finish from Press was, in a word, unstoppable.
Manchester United remain 3rd in the WSL table with little to no hope of catching the top-two, as they’re six points behind Chelsea heading into Sunday. By the end of Sunday, Manchester United will likely be seven points out of 2nd place once the Blues go top again.
Tottenham 0-3 Arsenal
To call Saturday’s north London derby “one-way traffic” would perhaps be harsh on Arsenal, who simply controlled and dominated Tottenham from the opening whistle.
Caitlin Foord opened the scoring after 26 minutes and Vivianne Miedema fired her league-leading 15th goal of the season — a sensational waist-high volley from a corner kick — home in the 35th. The game was well and truly over by that point, but Katie McCabe added to the Tottenham misery with a third in the 61st.
Unlike Manchester United, there is room for upward movement in Arsenal’s case. Despite sitting 4th, six points off the Red Devils, the Gunners have a pair of games in hand (six still to play in total) during which time they could very well surge into the top-three as they ride the wave of form and goals galore that they’ve enjoyed in recent weeks.
Sunday’s WSL schedule & results
Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton -- 7:30 am ET
Chelsea v Aston Villa -- 9:30 am ET (NBCSN and NBCSports.com)
Birmingham City v Bristol City -- 11 am ET