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Women's Football News
Arsenal took the honours with the biggest win on the opening weekend of the Barclays FA WSL season, a crushing 6-1 success against Reading FC Women.
Champions two seasons ago, the Gunners have been overlooked by many ahead of the new campaign but produced an imperious display to suggest they will be one of the major challengers once again. Jill Roord led the scoring for Arsenal with a hat-trick, Vivianne Miedema adding a further two along with an outstanding strike from Kim Little, before Danielle Carter grabbed a late consolation against her former club.
Everton had another enjoyable trip to the West Country, running out 4-0 winners away to Bristol City. The Toffees scored five on the last occasion the sides met and roared into an early lead when Simone Magill volleyed home. The creator of the first goal, Lucy Graham, scored the second herself and she put them further ahead from the penalty spot just after the hour. Substitute Valerie Gauvin completed a fine day for her side when she scored the final goal with three minutes remaining.
The season had begun on Saturday with newly promoted Aston Villa being given a baptism of fire against Manchester City and although acquitting themselves well, were left to rue early mistakes which put them two behind in the opening quarter. First, Georgia Stanway stole in on a short backpass to put her side ahead and the England striker soon had her second, this time charging down a clearance which rebounded back into the net. Stanway came close to completing her hat-trick, whilst Ellen White had a goal ruled out for offside, as City saw out a 2-0 victory.
Brighton & Hove Albion made it a winning start as they beat Birmingham City 2-0. The Seagulls twice hit the bar in the first half, through Inessa Kaagman and Dani Bowman, before Megan Connolly gave them the lead just before the hour with a delightful shot on the turn. Two minutes later, Connolly turned provider as she drove in a cross for Kaagman to head home at the far post and seal the points for her side.
Champions Chelsea started off their defence of the title with a difficult trip to Manchester Utd and ended with honours even as the sides shared a 1-1 draw. Chelsea started the game strongly and were rewarded by going in front on 25 minutes when Fran Kirby crossed for Sam Kerr to sweep home from close range. The Blues were unable to build on their lead though and United became more of an attacking force in the second half. With eleven minutes remaining, United took a share of the spoils when Jackie Groenen broke on the right and into the area, where her low cross was tapped in at point blank range by Leah Galton.
Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham Utd also ended up with a point apiece after they battled out a 1-1 draw in their derby match. Kit Graham twice hit the woodwork for Spurs in the first half but eight minutes after the restart, they went ahead in fortuitous circumstances as Hammers defender Grace Fisk turned into her own net from a Lucy Quinn corner. West Ham came up with a response five minutes later, Adriana Leon cutting in from the left before finding the far top corner for the equaliser.
Photo - Everton celebrate Simone Magill's opening goal against Bristol City (Will Cheshire).
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