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Birmingham shock leaders Arsenal

The Barclays FA WSL returned to action after the holiday break on the weekend with three of the scheduled six matches being played, and saw arguably the biggest shock result since the league began back in 2011.

With Chelsea not having a game, Arsenal had the opportunity to open up a lead of seven points at the top when they travelled to Birmingham City, bottom of the table and without a league win so far this season. It was the Blues though who went ahead with three minutes on the clock, Lucy Quinn’s pass releasing Libby Smith who ran through on goal and slotted past Manuela Zinsberger for the opener. Arsenal were struggling to get going in the first half and things got even worse for them just before half time, Jamie Finn crossed to the near post and after Jennifer Beattie’s clearance was charged down, the ball broke for Veatriki Sarri to plant her shot into the top corner and double Birmingham’s lead.

The Gunners tried hard to fight back after the break with Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema having shots charged down, but Birmingham defended brilliantly during the second half and safely saw the game through for a stunning 2-0 victory. This was the first time that Birmingham had recorded a home league victory since October 2019 and their first clean sheet for a year, their first win under interim manager Darren Carter and a result which lifted them off the bottom of the table.

Manchester City are back in the top half of the table after a rampant second half display took them to a 6-0 victory away to Brighton & Hove Albion. The first half was largely open with opportunities at both ends but neither could make a breakthrough and the scoreline was goalless at half time. Three minutes after the restart, the Cityzens took the lead when Lauren Hemp’s cross was turned into her own net by the unfortunate Victoria Williams. Before the Seagulls could recover, they found themselves two behind as Hemp lobbed in th e second and a minute later, Georgia Stanway drilled home from a low cross by Lucy Bronze. City then went further ahead as Laura Coombs intercepted a loose pass out of defence and chipped home a delightful shot over a stranded Megan Walsh. Hayley Raso made it five after latching onto a long ball forward from Steph Houghton and Vicky Losada rounded off the scoring three minutes later via a deflected effort.

Reading FC Women are now the league’s form team, making it five wins in six matches as they defeated Leicester City 1-0. The only goal of the game came after eleven minutes, Sanne Troelsgaard’s pass releasing Natasha Dowie who beat Demi Lambourne with a dipping shot from the edge of the area. It could have been two after Reading were awarded a penalty following a foul on Dowie, who picked herself up to take the  kick but saw her shot well saved by Lambourne. Reading could have added to their lead after the break but the one-goal win means that they are now up into the top six.