Women’s Super League – Week 11 review and Week 12 preview



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by Andrew Crawshaw

There were 6 WSL matches last week.  Here is a quick review in the order they were played in:-

  1. Leicester City 0 v Aston Villa 1. Played on Friday evening. I predicted a draw unless Aston Villa could return to something like their form of last year, which they managed to do at least in the first half doing enough to earn a narrow win.
  2. Arsenal 2 v Everton 1.  This game kicked off as our men were completing their demolition of Crystal Palace.  We started brightly and took the lead in the 9th minute when Caitlin Ford had an easy tap-in from a Pelova cross.  Despite dominating the game and playing the majority in the Everton half, Everton scored an equaliser completely against the run of play.  We lost the ball in the Everton half and were undone with a simple pass through our Centre backs which Katja Snoeijs passed into the net past Zinsberger who was caught in ‘no mans land’ between the 6 and 18 yard lines.  We regained our composure and dominance which paid off in the third minute of extra time at the end of the first half when Beth Mead finally made it 2 – 1 from a Lia Wälti assist.  The second half saw the pattern of Arsenal attacking and Everton defending continue but no further goals.  Three points to Arsenal but a far from vintage performance.
  3. Chelsea 3 – Manchester United 1.  Did Chelsea miss Sam Kerr?  On the result of this match no.  In the absence of their Australian striker up stepped Lauren James with a match-winning hat trick to which United had no real answer.  Chelsea remain in prime position to win the league for a fifth consecutive season.
  4. Brighton 3 v Bristol City 2.  As I predicted home advantage told in this six pointer between two relegation-threatened teams.
  5. Manchester City 5 v Liverpool 1.  I got the winners correct but the margin of the victory was far greater than he single goal I predicted.  Liverpool had a poor match and were blown away by a rampant City team.
  6. West Ham 3 v Tottenham 4.  Again I got the winners right as well as the fact that the scoreline was close.  I didn’t expect there to be nearly as many goals though.  Both teams outscored their xG figures.

These results  left the league table looking like this:-


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 11 9 1 1 35 12 23 28
2 Man City 11 8 1 2 31 8 23 25
3 Arsenal 11 8 1 2 26 11 15 25
4 Man United 11 5 3 3 26 14 12 18
5 Liverpool 11 5 3 3 16 16 0 18
6 Spurs 11 5 3 3 19 23 -4 18
7 Aston Villa 11 4 0 7 13 22 -9 12
8 Brighton 11 3 2 6 13 24 -11 11
9 Everton 11 3 2 6 10 21 -11 11
10 Leicester 11 2 4 5 15 22 -7 10
11 West Ham 11 1 2 8 11 25 -14 5
12 Bristol City 11 1 2 8 12 29 -17 5


So a gap starting to appear between ourselves in third place and Man United in fourth but the goal difference between ourselves and both City and Chelsea continued to grow.

Midweek saw the last of the Continental Tyres group games and a chance for us to get some goal-scoring practice against Championship team Reading.

We stared with a significantly changed team.  Sabrina D’Angelo getting a rare start in goal and Jen Beattie joined Laia Codina at Centre Back.  We approached the game in a very professional manner and had 73% of possession, 19 total shots of which 11 were on target and scoring three goals in each half.  Caitlin Ford opened the scoring in the 23rd minute followed by a brace from Stina Blackstenius.  Laia Codina got her first for the club in the 51st minute.

The biggest cheer of the match came in the 61st minute when Leah Williamson made her long-awaited return replacing Jen Beattie.  Every touch she had was also greeted with roars of approval.  In the 80th minute she showed one of the reasons we have missed her when she spotted a run by BethMead and played the most exquisite pass over the defence which Beth volleyed into the net for our fifth.  In the 84th minute Blackstenius got her third goal which she had been trying so hard for throughout the second half.  A six-nil winning margin was no less than we deserved on the night.  I just hope we can carry that scoring prowess with us into the second half of the league season.

This coming weekend’s games, again in the order they are being played:-

  1. Saturday 17:30 (BBC iPlayer) Brighton v Chelsea. Should be a walk in the park for Chelsea.  Chelsea have scored nearly three times as many and conceded half those for Brighton.  3 – 1 to Chelsea
  2. Sunday 12:00 (The FA Player)  Man United v Aston Villa. – Despite a better performance by Villa last week United are likely to be too strong.  2 – 1 to United
  3. Sunday 12:30 (BBC iPlayer) Everton v Leicester City.  A game neither club will want to lose, little to chose between the two teams.  I think a 1 – 1 or 2 – 2 draw.
  4. Sunday 14:00 (The FA Player) Spurs v Manchester City.  As much as I would like to see Spurs win I really don’t think they have the necessary firepower.  City have the meanest defence in the league and an attack scoring 3 goals a game.  Spurs score and concede about two goals a game.  City to win 3 – 1 (or more).
  5. Sunday 14:00 (The FA Player) Bristol City v West Ham.  A real six point relegation battle, nothing to chose between the two teams, possibly a marginal advantage to Bristol as the home team.  Probably a low scoring draw or a Bristol win by a single goal.
  6. Sunday 16:30 (Sky sports) Liverpool v Arsenal.  We need revenge for the shock defeat in the opening game of the season and certainly cannot afford a third defeat this season if we are to have any real chance of beating Chelsea to the title.

Despite their dismal showing last weekend against City, Liverpool are a decent side but one we ought to be capable of beating

I think that Leah Williamson will be on the bench again for this game, coming on in the second half if the match state permits it.  Kim Little who also made a return from injury in midweek may well start in midfield.  Both Leia Wälti and Lotte Wobben-Moy who were given the day off in midweek are likely to return to the starting 11.  After her hat trick I would be inclined to start with Sina Blackstenius upfront (but I’m a fan not a manager so what do I know).

Expected lineup

Manuella Zinsberger (GK)

Emily Fox, Amanda Ilestedt, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Katie McCabe

Kim Little, Leah Wälti

Frida Maanum

Beth Mead, Stina Blackstenius, Caitlin Foord


Bench from

Goalkeepers – Sabrina D’Angelo, Naomi Williams

Defenders – Leah Williamson, Jen Beattie, Laia Cordina, Amanda Ilistedt, Steph Catley

Midfield – Kyra Cooney Cross, Viviane Miedema, Victoria Pelova

Attack – Cloé Lacasse, Alessia Russo


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