Women’s Super League – the weekly review and a preview of the final round of Continental Tyres Cup group matches

by Andrew Crawshaw

This weekend saw the start of the second half of the League Season for most clubs – as you all know by now one team sits out each round of matches as there are 11 teams in the league and this week it was our turn.  This was something of a relief given the injury ravaged nature of our squad at present as it has enabled some of them to get a longer Christmas break.  The next round of league matches is 06 January when we play West Ham.

Manchester City (1) v Birmingham (0) was the early kickoff on BT Sport and truthfully wasn’t the most exciting contest of the season.  Hannah Hampton the teenage Birmingham Goalkeeper will want to forget about her howler which allowed Georgia Stanway to score the only goal of the match in the 12th minute.  After that there was little real excitement at either end of the pitch, both teams largely cancelling each other out.  Stats had Birmingham edging possession 53/47, shots 14 to City’s 8 but both had 4 on target.  City penalised for 19 fouls against Bristol’s 3.  Stanway and Walsh were booked for City and they were lucky not to have had more players carded.

Everton (0) v Bristol City (2)  Everton continuing to show why they are in a dogfight at the bottom of the league, their optimism following their derby win against Liverpool being evaporating when they conceeded two second half goals from Ella Rutherford and Katie Rood.  Ex Gunner Chloe Kelly had chances for Everton but found Sophie Baggaley in the Bristol Goal to be too good on the day.  The stats for the game were pretty even – Everton 51 % possession, shots 10 (4 on target) to Bristol’s 13 (6 on target).  Two fouls from Everton and a yellow card for Finnigan against 9 for Bristol but the points went back to Bristol.

Reading (2) v Liverpool (2)  This was probably the pick of the games with Fara Williams twice equalising for Reading against Liverpool.  Reading had more of the ball: 57% to Liverpool’s 43% took far more shots 23 against 6 and edged the shots on target by 5 against 3.  Liverpool committed 11 fouls against Reading’s 6, but Reading had three players booked in Harding, Williams and Furness whereas Liverpool’s players eascaped cards.

Brighton (0) v Chelsea (4)  This was a 15:00 kickoff and was on the BBC Red Button.  For the first 65 minutes it looked as though an upset might be on the cards with Brighton matching Chelsea’s workrate and having a number of good opportunities to score and hitting the woodwork on occasion.  During this phase of the game Hourihan in the Brighton goal was looking accomplished but it was perhaps an error by her which led to Chelsea’s Magdalena Eriksson bundling the ball over the line following a mixup between Hourihan and one of her defenders.  After that  it was all one way traffic as Chelsea added three further goals leaving Brighton as another of the bottom teams.

Yeovil (0) v West Ham (5)  This was another predictable and sadly routine loss by Yeovil who still look completely out of their depth at this level of football.  West Ham took the lead in the 19th minute through Alisha Lehmann and never looked in the slightest danger of surrendering it.  She added a second  8 minutes later before Simic made it three before halftime.  A fourth from Visalli and a final goal from Simic completed the scoring.  The possession stats were pretty even with West Ham edging things 51/49 but West Ham had 19 shots to Yeovil’s 7.  Most of Yeovil’s possession was sterile and they did little to threaten West Ham at any time in the game.

These results leave the WSL table looking like this:-

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 10 9 0 1 42 7 35 27
2 Man City 11 8 3 0 33 6 27 27
3 Chelsea 11 6 4 1 15 5 10 22
4 Birmingham 11 7 1 3 14 8 6 22
5 Reading 11 5 3 3 17 13 4 18
6 West Ham 11 5 1 5 16 19 -3 16
7 Bristol City 10 4 2 4 9 14 -5 14
8 Liverpool 11 3 1 7 8 19 -11 10
9 Everton 10 1 2 7 7 20 -13 5
10 Brighton 11 1 1 9 7 28 -21 4
11 Yeovil 11 1 0 10 6 35 -29 3

Please note that the match between Bristol City and Everton has still to be played (it is scheduled for Sunday 24th March).

On to the other matches taking place on Wednesday and Thursday this week

This week sees the last round of the group matches in the FA Women’s League Cup – known as the Continental Tyres Cup.  The 11 WSL clubs and the 11 Women’s Championship Clubs were split into two Northern and two Southern Groups for the first stage with the group winners and runners up going to the knockout phase.

Arsenal are in Group 2 South and with one game to go have already qualified top.

Team P +/- Pts
1 Arsenal (WSL) 3 16 9
2 West Ham (WSL) 3 5 6
3 Lewes 4 -5 6
4 Charlton Athletic 3 -8 3
5 Millwall Lionesses 3 -8 0

The final matches are:-

Wed 12 December Millwall v Arsenal.  Even given our threadbare squad we should be able to beat bottom table Millwall scoring a hatful of goals in the process.

Thurs 13 December Charlton v West Ham.  It would be a surprise if West Ham don’t comfortably beat Charlton

In Group 1 South Chelsea have already qualified as group winners but the battle for second place is still wide open.

Team P +/- Pts
1 Chelsea (WSL) 4 18 12
2 Brighton (WSL) 4 4 7
3 Spurs 4 2 6
4 London Bees 4 -5 5
5 Crystal Palace 4 -7 5
6 Yeovil (WSL) 4 -12 1

Yeovil unable to beat any of the three Championship clubs in this group, confirming their woeful results in the WSL.

The final round of games is:-

  • Wed 12 December Yeovil v Brighton
  • Wed 12 December Spurs v Chelsea
  • Thurs 13 December Crystal Palace v London Bees

Group 1 North Man City are certain to qualify as are the winner of the Birmingham v Bristol match

Team P +/- Pts
1 Man City (WSL) 4 13 11
2 Birmingham (WSL) 4 10 10
3 Bristol (WSL) 4 2 7
4 Aston Villa 4 -5 3
5 Sheffield United 4 -9 3
6 Leicester City 4 -11 2

This group’s final games are:-

  • Wed 12 December Birmingham v Bristol
  • Wed 12 December Sheffield United v Leicester City
  • Thursday 13 December Aston Villa v Man City

Group 2 North  

Team P +/- Pts
1 Reading (WSL) 3 4 6
2 Man United 3 0 6
3 Durham 4 -3 4
4 Everton (WSL) 2 0 3
5 Liverpool (WSL) 2 -1 2

This group presents the only real possibility of a non-WSL team qualifying for the knockout stage.  Man United are a newly formed team this year and have gone straight into the Championship.  They have recruited most of their players from their Northern neighbours which is in part the reason for the decline in Liverpool and Everton in particular.  In the Championship they suffered their first defeat this last weekend, losing 3 – 1 to Durham.

This group may not be decided until the postponed match between Liverpool v Everton takes place.  As it stands the only team who can’t qualify is Durham.  If Reading and Man United win this week they both qualify however, if either Liverpool or Everton win their last two matches they will qualify.

The final games are:-

  • Wed 5 December (postponed) – Liverpool v Everton
  • Wed 12 December – Reading v Liverpool
  • Thur 13 December Everton v Man United

Another Arsenal match I won’t be able to get to I’m afraid, despite it being a local one for me but I’m having a one day holiday touring the Country behind a steam engine and will be eating what I expect to be a wonderful four course meal whilst our Women are causing all kinds of mahem for the Millwall goal.


Predictions: the games’ results before they happen.  Latest – Man City v Everton.