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Things could hardly have been tighter in the Barclays FA WSL on Women's Football Weekend as the six matches produced four draws and two odd-goal victories.
The weekend opened up with leaders Manchester Utd entertaining local rivals Manchester City and their unbeaten record looked to be in jeopardy as a dominant City swept into a two-goal lead, Chloe Kelly putting them ahead in the ninth minute following a corner and Laura Coombs firing in the second from the edge of the area. The game turned after the break when a bad pass from Lucy Bronze was seized on by Tobin Heath who smashed home emphatically past Ellie Roebuck, and the scores were levelled as a scramble from a corner resulted in Kirsty Hanson forcing the ball in at the second attempt. United could even have snatched it in injury time but for Demi Stokes' clearance off the line from a Lucy Staniforth header.
The 2-2 draw meant that Arsenal would regain the leadership if they were to win against Chelsea the following day. They almost took the lead in the first half with a Caitlin Foord shot which remarkably hit the bar twice before Ann-Katrin Berger punched away under pressure from Beth Mead. Both defences remained strong but with five minutes left, Vivianne Miedema squared for Mead to volley Arsenal into the lead. Chelsea pressed for an equaliser and in stoppage time, fortune went their way as Pernille Harder's ball into the area deflected off the unfortunate Lotte Wubben-Moy and looped over Manuela Zinsberger to earn a 1-1 draw. Arsenal therefore stay one point behind Manchester United and Chelsea are three points off the pace, still unbeaten and with a game in hand.
Everton stay just outside the top three after they also drew, 1-1 against Reading FC Women. A win would have taken the Toffees into second place overnight and they took the lead six minutes before half time, Simone Magill heading in after Grace Moloney had saved the initial shot from Nicoline Sorensen. Reading's response was immediate and a spectacular cross-shot from the edge of the area by Natasha Harding found the far top corner to hand the Royals a share of the spoils.
Birmingham City were the highest placed team in the table to record a victory over the weekend, triumphing 1-0 in their local derby with Aston Villa at Villa Park. It was the first time the teams had met in a league match since the formation of the FA WSL and Villa were buoyed from their first win of the season in their last outing but in a tight game of few chances, it was Birmingham who took the points when Claudia Walker fired in off the bar with eighteen minutes remaining.
Brighton & Hove Albion picked up three valuable points with a 1-0 success away to West Ham Utd. The Hammers were on top for much of the first half but were unable to take opportunities and found Brighton goalkeeper Cecilie Fiskerstrand in excellent form, before the Seagulls scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half, Rianna Jarrett clipping the ball over the oncoming Mackenzie Arnold and heading in.
After a difficult start to the season, Bristol City got themselves off the mark when they drew 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur. City took the lead eight minutes before half time when Chloe Logarzo scored from the penalty spot, following a foul on Yana Daniels, but Spurs were back on terms shortly afterwards, Siri Worm scoring direct from a corner. Worm turned provider as Tottenham went in front after the break, with a free kick which was headed in by Ashleigh Neville, but City were to have the final say late on and they secured their first point when Ebony Salmon latched onto a long ball forward by Jemma Purfield and slotted past Rebecca Spencer for the equalising goal.
Photo - Ebony Salmon scores Bristol City's late equaliser against Tottenham Hotspur (Will Cheshire).
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