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Women's Football News
League leaders Arsenal were the odd team out on Sunday and without a game, giving Manchester City a chance to go level on points with them with a win.
That opportunity was against third placed Birmingham but was never going to be an easy one, although they took the lead after 12 minutes when Georgia Stanway dispossessed Blues goalkeeper Hannah Hampton and rolled into the empty net from an acute angle. City were on top for the rest of the half and Hampton redeemed herself with a fine save from an Abbie McManus volley but as the game wore on, Birmingham became more of an attacking force as they sought an equaliser. Lucy Staniforth hit the bar and Lucy Quinn brought out a good save from Ellie Roebuck but City saw the game out for a 1-0 win to catch Arsenal going into the break, having played one more match, and Birmingham are five points behind.
Defeat for Birmingham means that Chelsea have moved up to third, thanks to a 4-0 victory away to Brighton & Hove Albion. Despite Ji So-Yun hitting the woodwork early on, Brighton started the game well in what turned out to be a goalless first half. Ellie Brazil almost put the Seagulls in front when her shot struck the post but midway through the second half, Chelsea did take the lead when Magdalena Eriksson scored from a Karen Carney free kick. Beth England headed in a second minutes later and Ji drilled home a low shot to put them further ahead. England completed the scoring with her second, to put the seal on a fifth straight win and ninth clean sheet in a row in all competitions.
Reading FC Women and Liverpool fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw in which the Royals twice had to come from behind for a share of the spoils. Courtney Sweetman-Kirk gave the Reds a tenth minute lead with a neat finish and they stayed in front until just after the hour, when Fara Williams equalised via a free kick. Six minutes later, Sweetman-Kirk headed in her second from a Jess Clarke cross to restore Liverpool's advantage but Williams was to have the final say, salvaging a point for her side by curling home a delightful 30-yard strike.
West Ham Utd may well be disappointed at having to take a break after keeping up their fine run of form by beating Yeovil Town 5-0. Alisha Lehmann netted twice during the first half, with Julia Simic adding a third ahead of the interval. Brianna Visalli increased the Hammers' lead early in the second half and Simic rounded off a great performance from her side when she fired home the final goal.
Bristol City claimed their third away win of the campaign, a 2-0 success against Everton. The first half was goalless but midway through the second, City took the lead in spectacular fashion when Lucy Graham's deep cross was met by a superb volley from Ella Rutherford. Everton pressed hard late on for an equaliser but a fine individual effort in injury time from Katie Rood sealed a very good result for her side.
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