With plenty of goals and cancelled fixtures, this weekend’s Women’s Super League games had it all, so here are five things we learned.
Manchester City just can’t stop scoring
Following last Sunday’s 7-0 demolition of Aston Villa, Manchester City once again netted seven and this time Brighton were the unfortunate team on the wrong end of the score line.
Caroline Weir opened the scoring with just 12 minutes gone, getting her second just minutes later.
Defender Steph Houghton was also on the scoresheet, as was Ellen White, Chloe Kelly and Janine Becky.
Unlike Villa, Brighton were able to get one back on 69 minutes through Rianna Jarrett, but 7-1 is hardly a flattering result.
Despite their finesse in front of goal, Gareth Taylor’s side still find themselves third in the standings, behind both Manchester United and Chelsea.
Villa’s new signing takes centre stage
Following a disappointing run of results, Villa had everything to prove in their first home fixture since December 5.
The hosts came from behind twice to draw 2-2 against Reading on Saturday afternoon and new signing Mana Iwabuchi laid down a marker on her first start for the club.
With a goal and an assist to her name, the Japanese international impressed with her intelligence, ability to find space and link up play.
Manager Gemma Davies was delighted with the performance, saying: “She’s got an abundance of experience and she brings that to life on the pitch, players work off her.
“She’s very clever in the spaces she likes to play, and the group are slowly working out how she likes to play and the areas she likes to pick the ball up in.”
Manchester United return to WSL summit
Casey Stoney’s side responded in style with a 2-0 victory over Birmingham City on Sunday, following last week’s defeat to Chelsea that ended their 10-match unbeaten run.
Despite the teams around them having games in hand, the United boss will be delighted with her team’s position as they occupy the top spot once again.
Goals from Leah Galton and Ella Toone ensured the Red Devils ran out winners on the day and the squad are in fine form as they eye up their first ever league title.
More fixtures fall victim to cancellations
Postponements have become a regular occurrence in the WSL, whether it be down to COVID-19 or water-logged pitches.
This week, heavy snow was the culprit, leading to Arsenal’s match against West Ham, Everton’s trip to Tottenham and Chelsea’s game against Bristol City all being called off.
The League’s biggest teams have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks as only one game went ahead on January 10, as action resumed following the Christmas break.
This was a result of a number of positive COVID-19 tests after several players returned from Dubai, which has led to numerous big names in women’s football deeming those who travelled as ‘irresponsible’.
Whilst extreme weather cannot be helped, further cancellations have caused even more disruption to an already chaotic season and now those fixtures must be rescheduled elsewhere.
Steph Houghton marks 150th appearance in fantastic fashion
One of the WSL’s most recognisable players, Steph Houghton, made her 150th league appearance in Man City’s big win over Brighton.
The England international scored two on the day, one of which was a pin-point free-kick from range that headed straight for the top corner.
Houghton has long proved herself to be one of City’s most important players, a true leader both on and off the pitch.