Just two points separated third place Chelsea and fourth place Birmingham at the end of last season, but the visitors made short work of the hosts on their trip to the west Midlands and had raced into their 6-0 lead shortly after the hour mark.
Chelsea went ahead through Ji So-yun just two minutes into the contest, but it was a flurry of goals either side of half-time that decided it. There were braces for Bethany England and Drew Spence, while Millie Bright score a fine effort after charging forward from defence.
Chelsea’s win was important because Manchester City and Arsenal are keeping the pressure on, with the two challengers just a single point behind the early leaders.
Manchester City thrashed relegation threatened Bristol City in a similarly big away win, prevailing 5-0 in their lengthy round trip to the south west. There was a double for German international Pauline Bremer, with Ellen White also continuing her scoring run.
Tessa Wullaert and Caroline Weir got the others for the visitors.
Vivianne Miedema got what proved to the decisive goal in the 1-0 scoreline in the first half, but the Gunners, who have now equalled their own WSL record of consecutive home wins (8), were comfortable as Liverpool offered very little in the way of threat – the Reds still only have a paltry single goal to show for their seven league outings this season.
Casey Stoney’s side had annihilated Leicester 11-1 in the Continental Cup in midweek and hardly needed to get out of second gear against the Seagulls. Winger Leah Galton stole the show by getting an assist and scoring twice, with Lauren James and Katie Zelem also netting.
United remain in fifth place, three points behind Everton, who are having a quite remarkable season after a win against Tottenham means they now have more points just seven games into 2019/20 than they managed in the whole of the 2018/19 campaign.
Molly Pike and Lucy Graham scored for the Toffees either side of an own goal by Spurs player Anna Filbey. Lucy Quinn had initially equalised for Spurs, but Everton had wrapped up the win by the time Graham scored early in the second half.
West Ham are finding things difficult in their second WSL season and were beaten 3-2 at home by Reading, despite initially being 2-0 ahead and the Royals being reduced to 10 players in first half stoppage time when Rachel Rowe was sent off.
Already 1-0 up through Katharina Baunach, the Hammers took advantage and looked on course to win when Leanne Kiernan doubled the lead shortly after the hour mark. But Reading then fought back and scored three times in just seven minutes, with England’s Jade Moore completing the turnaround after goals from Kristine Leine and Brooke Chaplen.
The WSL continues with gameweek eight next weekend: 29 November – 1 December.