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Nine-goal blast takes Chelsea top

Chelsea have gone top of the Barclays FA WSL for the first time this season following a nine-goal blast against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Arsenal’s scheduled match with Tottenham Hotspur had fallen victim to Covid cases and had to be postponed, giving Chelsea the chance to replace them as leaders with a victory. This proved to be a huge incentive as Guro Reiten, Sam Kerr and Beth England put them three ahead inside the opening ten minutes and Aniek Nouwen added a fourth immediately afterwards. England netted a second and Reiten also completed a double in first half injury time. After the break, Kerr scored her second and Chelsea went on to record a 9-0 victory as Lauren James and Jessie Fleming contributed further goals late on.

Manchester Utd also stepped up their challenge for a Champions League place by coming from behind to beat Everton 3-1, to open up a gap of three points between themselves and Manchester City whose game against Birmingham City was also postponed. In front of a crowd in excess of 20,000 at Old Trafford, Everton got off to a great start and took a fourth minute lead through Claire Emslie but United got themselves back on level terms ahead of the break, thanks to Alessia Russo. Katie Zelem then put them ahead from the penalty spot, nine minutes into the second half and Russo sealed the points when she scored her second goal via a header from a corner.  

Brighton & Hove Albion leapfrogged opponents West Ham Utd in the table and are back in the top six after winning their meeting 2-0. Aileen Whelan finished off a good move to give the Seagulls a third minute lead and after coming under pressure from the Hammers as they sought an equaliser, Brighton hit on the break for a second goal with nine minutes remaining, Inessa Kaagman pouncing on  a loose ball to slot home.

The honours were shared in the other game as Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion battled out a 1-1 draw. Villa had the better of matters in the first half which ended goalless but with just over twenty minutes remaining, Justine Vanhaevermaet slotted home from the penalty spot to put Reading ahead following a foul in the area on Amalie Eikeland. Villa hit back seven minutes later with Ramona Petzelberger heading in from a Laura Blindkilde cross to give her side a point.