WSL gameweek 2 awards: player of the week, moment of the week, team of the week & more

Ali Rampling
Everton won the WSL's first Merseyside derby since 2019
Everton won the WSL's first Merseyside derby since 2019 / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages
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Gameweek two of the WSL had big boots to fill after a chaotic opening weekend of action.

With a pair of derbies, a heavyweight clash and over 80,000 supporters in attendance across the six fixtures, it more than delivered.

Here are 90min's WSL awards for gameweek two.


Team of the week - Everton

Hanna Bennison, Jessica Park, Rikke Sevecke, Aurora Galli, Katrine Veje, Nathalie Björn
Everton recorded a famous Merseyside derby victory over Liverpool / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Everton headed into the Merseyside derby seemingly still finding their feet under new boss Brian Sorensen, while Liverpool were on a high following their surprise victory over WSL champions Chelsea.

Yet in front of 27,574 spectators at Anfield, it was the Toffees who emerged victorious - and in comprehensive fashion - with an authoritative performance.

The Toffees raced into a 2-0 lead inside 33 minutes thanks to goals from Megan Finnigan and Jess Park, before substitute Hanna Bennison wrapped up a famous victory on the stroke of full time with a cool finish. A massive first three points for Brian Sorensen on the biggest of stages.


Moment of the week - Arsenal break WSL attendance record

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Women's Super League
The WSL attendance record was broken at the Emirates on Saturday / Clive Rose/GettyImages

The WSL attendance record - which had stood for nearly three years - was broken at the Emirates during Saturday's north London derby.

A crowd of 47,367 were in attendance to watch Arsenal beat Tottenham 4-0, comfortably eclipsing the previous record crowd of 38,262 set between the two sides at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November 2019.

Tubes and pubs were packed hours before kick off and there was a real bite and derby feel to the atmosphere.

Jonas Eidevall was keen to emphasise how important it was to the sustainability of the game that Arsenal sold the tickets for the fixture, as opposed to giving them away at a discounted price, as has often been the case for previous women's football attendance records.

"If you giveaway tickets, it's something else," said Eidevall. "When you sell tickets, that's how you run a football club."


Player of the week - Jess Park

Jess Park impressed when given opportunities for Manchester City last season, but with the wealth of wide options at her parent club, a loan move to Everton this term seemed a sensible option. On the basis of her first WSL start for her new club, it seems like a match made in heaven.

The 20-year-old turned in an imperious performance in front of over 27,000 fans at Anfield, netting her side's second with a burst of pace in behind the Reds backline and fabulous piece of skill to round Rachel Laws. Park then smartly picked out Bennison on the stroke of full time as Everton wrapped up all three points.

"Jess was on fire today," said Sorensen. "Really, really happy with her whole performance. She had been struggling in pre-season with injuries and sickness but to see how she performed today was really nice. A high level."


Comebacks of the week - Ann-Katrin Berger & Maren Mjelde

Maren Mjelde
Mjelde was back in the Chelsea starting XI following an injury plagued 18 months / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Chelsea's victory over Manchester City was a particularly poignant one for both Ann-Katrin Berger and Maren Mjelde.

Berger was making her first appearance since undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer in August, following four years in remission. She marked her return with a clean sheet, making two crucial first half saves to keep out Lauren Hemp and Laura Coombs.

Mjelde was making her first WSL start in 18 months after battling back from the horror injury she suffered in the 2021 Continental Cup final. The right back turned in a defensively resilient display to keep the usually destructive Hemp quiet, before getting on the score sheet from the penalty spot.


Quote of the week - Jonas Eidevall

Jonas Eidevall
Eidevall oversaw Arsenal's north London derby victory / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall spoke emotively during the week about Arsenal's proud history in the women's game and how special it was to break the WSL attendance record.

But his top quote of the week? When asked if his children made it to the Emirates for the historic fixture...

"No they were not. It was right in their nap time, so you can blame the club for that. That was probably the BBC's fault with the kick off time, right? They had to enjoy the game in front of their iPad. It's the only time they're allowed to watch their iPad; when we play..."


Right flank of the week - Manchester United

For the second successive week, Manchester United's right flank wreaked havoc, with Spanish duo Lucía García and Ona Batlle already having the makings of a deadly partnership.

García gave United a second half lead against West Ham, leaving the Hammers backline for dead with a surging run and finish.

Batlle was then instrumental in United's second as drove to the byline, latched onto Ella Toone's pass and picked out Hannah Blundell lurking on the edge of the area with a smart cut back.


Brutally honest assessment of the week - Carla Ward

Carla Ward
Ward was her usual honest self after Villa's second successive win / Paul Harding/GettyImages

Aston Villa won back-to-back WSL matches for the first time in their history with a 2-0 victory over Leicester, maintaining their perfect start to the season.

What did the typically honest Carla Ward make of her side's victory?

"An awful 90 minutes to watch," said Ward. "I don't think it's 90 minutes we're ever going to get back.

"Leicester dominated the first half, we dominated the second half but I don't think either team showed any quality throughout. I thought it was a really poor game of football if I'm being honest.

"If you look at the positives we've scored two goals, got an away win, clean sheet, back to back wins. So we'll hold onto the four positives but it was not a good game of football that today."


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