WSL Winners & Losers – Gameweek 5 : WomensSoccer

WSL Winners & Losers – Gameweek 5 : WomensSoccer



After throwing away a lead to lose to Chelsea, the Gunners needed to bounce back with a statement against their other title rivals – and they did so at home to a previously undefeated Man City side who hadn’t conceded a goal in the league this season.

A nervy, tetchy first half was almost over when Little slipped a through ball between City’s centre backs to play in Vivianne Miedema, who seldom wastes such chances and slotted away her 49th goal for the club. Arsenal could even afford to waste chances, with Nobbs firing wide in the 88th minute when it would’ve been easier to hit the target. Onto the home leg against Slavia Prague in midweek, which should see Arsenal progress after a 5-2 first leg away win.


The Blues are finally off the mark for the season, both points- and goal-wise. Doing it in a home game against the side immediately above you was probably the best time to do it, and Birmingham were good for the win as well, controlling the game and could’ve had more than the single goal in each half they scored. They’ve now leapt up to ninth (from twelfth), and still have a game in hand from the Reading postponement.


The best team on Merseyside at the moment have got back to winning ways after two straight defeats, easily overcoming a Brighton side who are usually stronger away from home. Future England left back Esme Morgan knocked home the second Street Chloe Kelly continued to print money for those of us savvy enough to put her as first goalscorer. I can’t see them clawing their way back to the top of the table, but they’ve got a decent chance of sending the Anfield crowd home disappointed when the men’s ground hosts the Merseyside derby next month.


At one point they were in the other section, responding to news of Man City going behind by going a goal down themselves. That only lasted ten minutes before getting back into the game and Ji So-Yun belted one in before Drew Spence rounded off a game they dominated. Chelsea are now top by a point over Arsenal and Man City; without European commitments they’re in a prime position to get their title back. The home game against Man City on December 8th looks like the next title six pointer.

Tottenham Hotspur

After generously allowing Bristol City to go a goal up, last season’s Championship runners up ceded control to Kit Graham who smacked home two screamers in 64 seconds to open her account, give her side the win and set them up well for the North London derby at whatever the new White Hart Lane is called in three weeks.

Manchester United

Fresh off a cup defeat of their local rivals last weekend, Man Utd were good value for an exciting win over a side who were expected to cause them problems – and when was the last time you could say that about the men’s team? Jackie Groenen showed why they bought her from Frankfurt as soon as their promotion was confirmed, setting up Sigsworth’s goal late on, and while this season might be too early for the WSL debutants, they’re not a bad shout as a dark horse for the title next season.

The FA

Every game not shown live on TV is available to stream via their FA Player app (and even the TV games have an audio commentary stream). No geographical restrictions either! It’s a great way to boost the league’s visibility, here and abroad, after a profile boosting World Cup for the national side.


Man City

With a perfect league record so far, and a clean sheet in every game, the side should have been full of confidence. Whether it was a morale issue after losing to Man Utd in the Continental Cup last weekend, or poor tactics, City didn’t look threatening until the 82nd minute when they started to attack with any great force. Perhaps they had an eye on their tricky second leg tie in the Champions League midweek, but it really felt like they were playing not to lose, rather than to win.


The “Losers” section has consistently included the 2013 WSL champions this season for good reason – Vicky Jepson’s side have been utter tosh. The draw against Bristol City remains their sole point this season, and the reds were clearly second best against Birmingham. With one goal in five games this season it’s hard to see them getting their heads back above the relegation battle.


A bit harsh on them to be in this section as nobody expected them to beat Everton, but they’ve still only scored in one league game this season (the 2-3 loss to West Ham a fortnight ago) and will need to start firing soon to hold off Liverpool below them.

West Ham

Losers only in that they didn’t live up to my high expectations for them – after causing Arsenal no end of problems on the opening day of the season they were noted as a side who raise their game against the bigger clubs and coming off the back of an away win at Brighton I thought they could cause Chelsea some trouble. On Sunday they were never at the races against their London rivals. The rumoured signing of Ruesha Littlejohn from London Bees would help to give them a focal point in attack, but they need to strengthen the defence to start challenging further up the table.

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