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The Blues had gone into Saturday morning three points ahead of Manchester City but things were pushed irreversibly their way as City went down to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal. It looked as though Nick Cushing's side were on their way to another important win when Nadia Nadim gave them an early lead but after the break, Danielle van de Donk levelled matters for the Gunners and Beth Mead scored the winner with twenty minutes remaining.
Chelsea then took full advantage to beat Sunderland 2-1. Fran Kirby and Eniola Aluko scored either side of half time and although Keira Ramshaw pulled one back for the Wearsiders late on, the win meant that Chelsea needed to avoid defeat on Tuesday night away to Bristol City to sew up the title.
After an early scare when Millie Farrow shot wide when through on goal, Chelsea took the lead when Drew Spence scored with a glancing header from Ji So-Yun's cross. Willie Kirk's improving City side did well to match Chelsea for long periods of the game but with just over a minute remaining, Gemma Davison's low cross was turned home by Jonna Andersson and Chelsea celebrations began. It could have been three but for a magnificent save by Sophie Baggaley from Ji's powerful strike but Chelsea are now in an unassailable position and were presented with the trophy after the game.
This leaves the runners-up spot and the second qualifying place for Europe to be decided; Manchester City will go into the final game in the driving seat after defeating Yeovil Town 5-0 on Wednesday. Claire Emslie opened the scoring on the brink of half time and after the break, Nikita Parris hit a hat-trick to take her into double figures for the season, before Izzy Christiansen added the final goal from the penalty spot.
Arsenal meanwhile stay one point behind following their 2-0 success at Sunderland on the same night. Both goals came in the opening half hour, Kim Little giving them the lead with a deflected effort and Beth Mead netted the second against her former club.
Reading FC Women are certain to finish in the top half and are on course for fourth after they beat Liverpool 3-0. A firm strike from Brooke Chaplen gave them a fourth minute lead and the striker netted her second midway through the second half, with Lauren Bruton rounded off the win with nine minutes remaining.
Birmingham City meanwhile returned into the top half as they also won 3-0, away to Everton. Charlie Wellings netted a goal in each half, both of which were strikes from outside the area, and Ellen White added the third late on.
Bristol City had earlier taken their good run to three wins in four games on the weekend, with a 2-0 success away to West Country rivals Yeovil Town. After a goalless first half in which the Vixens hit the woodwork three times, they took the lead in more fortuitous circumstances when Lauren Hemp scored direct from a corner on the hour. Yana Daniels sealed the win for City with a firm left foot shot just over ten minutes later.
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