A final round of weather-affected Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixtures before the Christmas break certainly did not disappoint as entertainment won the day up and down the country.
Despite the programme being reduced to four games after Bristol City’s clash against West Ham and Manchester United’s trip to Birmingham were postponed following failed pitch inspections, it was a Sunday that had something for everyone.
There were stunning goals, shock results and late, late winners, all of which served to make the table all the tighter as the league takes a three-week breather.
Liverpool hold Chelsea
Heading into the weekend, Liverpool had scored only twice in the league all season, while Chelsea were being tipped by many as champions elect given their scintillating start to the campaign.
So when Niamh Charles opened the scoring for the hosts at Prenton Park with six minutes gone, the Blues were left shell-shocked.
Bethany England equalised nine minutes later in what many would have expected to be the first of many.
But the Reds held firm, demonstrating the miserly defence that might just save them this season, as Chelsea failed to win for only the second time in the league this season.
Miedema at it again
Arsenal sign off 2019 at the summit of the Barclays WSL table, their title defence going perfectly to script, and once again they had star forward Vivianne Miedema to thank as they beat Everton 3-1.
The Dutch forward grabbed a brace to take her tally to an astounding 26 goals so far this season, with 14 of them netted in the league.
She now has 10 in her last three Barclays WSL games, and will no doubt be cursing the Christmas break for interrupting her fearsome form.
Not far behind the Gunners, however, are Manchester City, whose 5-0 win over Brighton saw the goals split evenly.
Steph Houghton, Ellen White, Lauren Hemp, Georgia Stanway and Pauline Bremer all got their names on the scoresheet, with Houghton’s indirect free-kick a real collector’s item.
Having been largely forgotten about in conversations about title favourites, City’s claim must surely now be taken seriously.
Royals leave it late
On paper the mid-table clash between Reading and Tottenham may not have caught the eye before kick-off, but then football matches aren’t played on paper.
It was a thriller at Adams Park as Reading staged a dramatic comeback from a goal down to win 3-1, with Remi Allen’s poke at the death the crucial intervention.
All of that after Siri Worm’s stunning strike had opened the scoring for Spurs, but it was not to be enough.
Title race shaping up
After Chelsea’s dropped points at Liverpool, there are now just four points separating Arsenal in first and the Blues – who also have a game in hand – in third.
Last season we saw a heated battle between the Gunners and the Citizens that went right to the wire, but this time it looks as though there will be three sides well in the mix when football returns in January.
And while the trio are undoubtedly the league’s strongest sides, Chelsea’s draw this weekend goes to show that any team can take points off each other.
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