Week 8 WSL Round Up

Bristol City 0-2 Manchester United 

Manchester United were looking to get back to winning ways after suffering a 3-1 defeat in the Manchester Derby last weekend. 

Bristol City were also on the hunt for what would be only their second win of the season, and lift them off the bottom of the WSL table.

Lauren Smith made eight changes to her side that lost to Tottenham in the midweek. Only Brooke Aspin, Megan Connolly and Carrie Jones kept their place in the side. It is the same side that drew with Everton last weekend.

The experienced Rachel Furness is still unavailable for selection due to a Hamstring injury.

Marc Skinner made five changes to the side that beat Liverpool on Wednesday. Mary Earps, Mille Turner, Geyse and Leah Galton were all rested for the Conti Cup fixture and returned to the starting line up today. The only other change was captain Katie Zelem who came in for Hayley Ladd. The other players who made way were, Phallon Tullis-Joyce, Gemma Evans, Rachel Williams, Lucia Garcia.

Nikita Parris tested Olivia Clark early on in the match at Ashton Gate, but was denied the opener. She also denied Leah Galton, and Mille Turner in the first half.

The Robins also forced Earps into action after a header from Amelie Thestrup, but the shot was saved. Both sides were level heading into the break.

World Cup Golden Boot winner Hinata Mayazawa opened the scoring for the visitors, with a shot from outside the box, which took a massive deflection, sending Clark the wrong way.

The lead was doubled by Parris, and in just five minutes the match had run away from the hosts. 

Ella Toone kept the pressure on, forcing Clark into action once again, but she managed to keep the deficit at two goals. Parris collided with the back post when she thought she had scored a third for United but it was ruled out for offside. 

Substitute Melvine Malard kept the pressure on with a shot that hit the woodwork but it wasn’t enough for them to increase their lead past two.

United will look to build on and get back into a run of good form after the International break. They face both Tottenham and Liverpool before Christmas, which are games they will hope to get six points from.

City will hope they can get a good run of points after the international break, so that they aren’t sat bottom of the league going into the New Year.


We’re still creating. We are frustrated it has ended up this way, but ultimately we haven’t given up. The players have done really well, worked really hard and they are the things you have to take away.

Melissa Phillips

Bristol City Women's Manager

Arsenal 3-0 West Ham 

Arsenal were hoping to build on their good run of results, with victory at Meadow Park. West Ham were hoping they could cause an upset and claim their second win of the season.

Jonas Eidevall made seven changes from the side that faced Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium. It saw Jen Beattie, Katherine Kuhl, Laia Codina and Sabrina D’Angelo return to the bench. Captain for that match Lia Walti, was replaced by youngster Kyra Cooney-Cross for her fourth start of the season. 

Viviane Miedema and Kim Little returned to the bench after being out with niggles the last few weeks.

Rehanne Skinner made six changes to the side that lost 3-1 on Wednesday. Lisa Evans, Hawa Cissoko, Honoka Hayashi and Riko Ueki returned to the squad with Anouk Denton, Jessie Stapleton, Izzy Atkinson and Keira Flannery making way.

Arsenal put the pressure on early as they won a corner after a Caitlin Foord driving effort earnt her side a corner. They failed to convert from the set piece but didn’t lose possession or their intensity.

They got off to the perfect start with Frida Maanum scoring a curling effort from outside the box, inside the first two minutes.

The Hammers came close to equalising when Shimizu read the game well and intercepted a pass from Pelova. She sent it out to the wing with Evans sending a pin point cross into the box, which Asseyi managed to get her head to but she only managed to hit the woodwork.

Beth Mead followed this up by scoring her first goal since returning from her ACL injury. It marked 428 days since she last found the net against Skinner’s former side, Tottenham. 

Alessia Russo picked up on a loose ball and beat Shimizu to it, before feeding it to Mead. She proved she is back to her best after receiving her England call up this week by netting for the second time this match.

This goal was the England International’s 100th goal contribution in the WSL, only the second player to achieve this, after Arsenal teammate Viviane Miedema.

The hosts settled into the match in the second half and were unfortunate to not reduce the deficit after a shot by Asseyi hit the woodwork for the second time, after taking a deflection.

The Irons will hope they can find some good form going into the Christmas break, and claim some more points, to hopefully finish the calendar year off the bottom.

The Gunners will hope they can continue the momentum they have built, after the International break, where they will welcome rivals Chelsea to the Emirates. It’s set to be a match for the ages with 50,000 tickets already being sold.


Speaking on Beth Mead scoring her first goal since returning from injury;

She has worked very, very hard, she has come close a couple of times for that as well. So it was really nice and in front of the home fans, we are all delighted.


Jonas Eidevall

Arsenal Women Manager

Chelsea 5-2 Leicester City

Chelsea were hoping to retain their position at the top of the WSL, when they faced Leicester at Kingsmeadow.

Leicester had a strong start to the season having won their first three matches. They were looking to get on another run of strong results, having beaten Manchester City in the Conti Cup on Wednesday.

Emma Hayes made four changes from the side that competed at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Ashley Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan, Jessie Fleming and Sjokie Nusken were all replaced, with Eve Périsset, Fran Kirby, Sophie Ingle and Maren Mjelde coming on in their place. 

Captain Millie Bright failed to make the squad, due to a recurrence of her knee injury, that she sustained last season. She also withdrew from the England squad for the decisive Nations League matches in early December.

Willie Kirk made four changes to the side that travelled to Manchester. It saw German goalkeeper Janina Leitzig return between the sticks, after being brought on for the penalties midweek. Julie Thibaud, Lena Petermann and Jutta Rantala replaced Lize Kop, Josie Green, Missy Goodwin and Remy Siemsen in the starting 11.

Lauren James picked up where she left off last week, scoring after just two minutes in front of their home fans. She kept the pressure on and Chelsea had their second, with the final touch coming from Courtney Nevin, for an own goal.

Leicester settled into the game, after a poor start, and got a goal back mid-way through the first half thanks to a Rantala effort. But the hosts quickly restored their two goal lead when Sam Kerr netted a ball from Niamh Charles.

The Foxes had the last word before the break, when Sam Tierney put the ball away after a free kick was awarded for a Berger collision with Petermann.

James connected with Fran Kirby’s through ball to finally get her second, just before the hour mark. The hosts lead continued to grow when the prolific Aggie Beever-Jones scored her fifth goal of the campaign. 

After avoiding defeat today, Chelsea have now won their last 19 home fixtures, a new competition record, which dates back to September 2022.

The Blues have now scored 14 goals in their last three fixtures, with them coming from five different scorers. They will hope they can continue scoring in these numbers, especially when they face Arsenal at the Emirates for their first game after the break. 

Leicester have a run into Christmas where picking up points could prove tricky and they will hope they can and end the calendar in the same way they started the season.


The team has been tremendous this block, we look so threatening going forward. Although, we are disappointed with how we’ve given up goals today. 

Emma Hayes

Chelsea Women's Manager

Liverpool 4-0 Brighton and Hove 

Both Liverpool and Brighton were hoping they could get back to winning ways after losing to league greats Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.

The Seagulls returned to winning ways, when they beat West Ham 3-1 in the Conti Cup midweek. They will hope they can use this moment to gain all three points at Prenton Park.

Matt Beard made nine changes to his squad, with only goalkeeper Teagan Micah and Jenna Clark keeping their place in the starting 11. Gemma Bonner became Liverpool Women’s record appearance maker after she returned to the squad today.

Melissa Phillips made five changes to the successive side at Broadfield Stadium. Katie Robinson came in for Veatriki Sarri, Jorelyn Caraballi came in for Poppy Pattinson and Pauline Bremer. Brighton’s top goal scorer for this season Elisabeth Terland returned to the team sheet for Tatiana Pinto.

The hosts started the match strongly and took the lead mid-way through the first half thanks to Bonner headering the ball in from the in-sweeping corner. 

Their lead was doubled just before half time, when Marie Hobinger made a good run and Shanice van de Sanden finished it brilliantly. This put the side 2-0 up at the break.

Liverpool were dominant when they started the second half and Ceri Holland scored their third, just after the hour mark.

Beard’s side topped off their afternoon with a fourth goal in stoppage time by Sophie Roman Haug, who was set up by both Leanne Kiernan and Miss-Bo Kearns.

Liverpool are currently fifth in the WSL and just two points away from the top three. They will hope they can stay near the top of the table after the International break.

Brighton have dropped to ninth, despite a strong start to the season, so will hope they can gain some positions before the Christmas break.


Team performance was fantastic. Second half I thought we were absolutely excellent. Brighton put us under a bit of pressure in the first half and we stood up to that, they are very dangerous from set play. But I’m really pleased, really pleased.

Matt Beard

Liverpool Women's Manager

Aston Villa 1-2 Everton 

Aston Villa were on a run of four successful matches in all competitions and were hoping they had changed their fortunes for the season. They started the season with five successive losses. 

Everton were looking to end Villa’s successful run and put themselves back on their own run of good form. 

Carla Ward made seven changes from the side that netted seven times on Wednesday. Kenza Dali, Rachel Daly and Adriana Leon were just a few of the star players that returned to the starting 11. Making way for them was Mullett, Alisha Lehman and Ebony Salmon. Jordan Nobbs and Rachel Corsie also returned for Blinkindle-Brown and Lucy Staniforth.

Brian made two changes to the side that he fielded midweek. Bennison was brought into the squad for Galli and Payne came in for the suspended Martina Piemonte.

Piemonte was handed a three match ban after an incident during their match with Bristol City. The forward was charged with violent conduct after an off-the-ball incident during the game.

Both sides had strong moments and chances in a cagey first half, which ended at 0-0.

The breakthrough eventually came for Everton, when Anna Patten scored an own goal from a Sarah Holmgaard deep cross. 

Hanson found Daly sat in the box, who found the equaliser only a minute later. She beat Courtney Brosnan from close range, to get her fourth goal of the season.

Natalie Bjorn scored the winner from the spot after referee Stacey Pearson awarded the visitors a penalty for Hanson’s misjudged challenge on Heather Payne.

The Toffees win has moved them to the middle of the table and sit a little more comfortable going into the break. Villa still sit near the bottom of the table, and will hope they can gather more points before the end of the calendar year.


A disappointing afternoon, honestly. I think we have lost it rather then them win it, and I think that is the most frustrating piece. It was a slow game and we didn’t really play with any intensity or rhythm. That’s the bit we’re struggling with and we don’t expect.

Carla Ward

Aston Villa Women's Manager

Manchester City 7-0 Tottenham 

Manchester City will hope they can keep Martha Thomas quiet during Tottenham’s visit to the Joie Stadium

Gareth Taylor made nine changes following their loss to Leicester midweek. Khiara Keating and Chloe Kelly were the only two to keep their places, after Taylor rotated his squad for the Conti Cup. 

Leia Aleixandri returned to the starting lineup today after serving her one-match suspension during City’s match with Leicester on Wednesday. She received a red card at Old Trafford in the Manchester Derby last weekend. 

Ellie Roebuck returned to the City bench after being excluded the last few weeks, in a situation the club are keeping quiet on. Their former number one was also dropped by Sarina Weigman for the upcoming England matches this week.

Robert Vilahamn also made a plethora of changes, with only Asmita Ale keeping her place from their victory over Bristol City at Brisbane Road. 

City started the game strongly and Tottenham did well to keep them at bay for the first 20 minutes but Bunny Shaw opened her account for the match with a towering header.

Tottenham didn’t let City have all the shots, with Celin Bizet testing Keating, shortly after they fell behind. 

Once she got on the score sheet, Bunny found it hard to stop scoring, getting a hat trick in just 15 minutes. Her goals were the difference, going into the break, with the hosts 3-0 up.

The blues started the second half strongly, with Lauren Hemp scoring a stunning goal off her weak foot, just three minutes after the restart. 

Keating denied the visitors once again, this time a Martha Thomas attempt after she made an intelligent through City’s back line.

Jill Roord got her fifth goal of the season, with the easiest of finishes after a pinpoint cross from Hemp. This was her last action of the match before being replaced by Laura Coombs.

The substitute wanted her own piece of the action, and got this netting after being on the pitch just four minutes and her second in extra-time. 

The hosts were clinical and took most of the chances they created, handing Tottenham their largest WSL defeat. 

Manchester City will hope they can continue their form and being clinical after the International break, where they will face Aston Villa and Everton.

Tottenham will be hoping they can move past this historic defeat, and get back to their winning ways.

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