WSL

WSL roundup: gameweek 18

Ali Rampling
Alessia Russo netted twice for Manchester United at Old Trafford
Alessia Russo netted twice for Manchester United at Old Trafford / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages
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Two WSL fixtures fell foul to Covid-19 during gameweek 18, but fans were still treated to four games across the weekend.

Manchester United made history with their first ever women's match at Old Trafford in front of fans, and came from behind to beat Everton 3-1 to put on a show for their supporters.

Elsewhere, there was a huge win for Chelsea to move them top of the WSL. Here's the best of the action.


Manchester United 3-1 Everton

Childhood Manchester United supporter Alessia Russo netted a header in either half as Marc Skinner's side beat Everton 3-1 in the first ever United women's match at Old Trafford in front of fans.

Former Manchester City winger Claire Emslie had given Everton the lead inside five minutes with a well-taken run and finish, but this was cancelled out 10 minutes before the break by Russo's looping header following patient United build up.

The hosts took the lead from the penalty spot in the second half, Katie Zelem slamming home emphatically after Martha Thomas was fouled by Lucy Graham. Russo then wrapped up the victory six minutes from time with a bullet header from a corner.


Leicester 0-9 Chelsea

Chelsea ran riot at the King Power to move top of the WSL for the first time this season.

The Blues sliced through the Foxes backline to lead 3-0 inside seven minutes - the first time in WSL history that a team has scored three goals in the opening 10 minutes.

Guro Reiten set the tone for the day with a stunning free kick to get Chelsea off the mark, and Jessie Fleming concluded the scoring with a low drive following some terrific build up play from the Blues.

Sam Kerr, Beth England and Reiten all grabbed a brace, Aniek Nouwen was also on the scoresheet and Lauren James netted her first WSL goal for Chelsea to cap a very good day at the office for Emma Hayes' side.


West Ham 0-2 Brighton

Brighton leapfrogged West Ham into sixth in the WSL with a 2-0 win over the Hammers.

Aileen Whelan applied the finishing touches to a slick team move, passing the ball past Mackenzie Arnold to give the Seagulls a first half lead.

Inessa Kaagman added a second nine minutes from time, capitalising on a mix up in the West Ham backline to wrap up all three points for Hope Powell's side.


Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Aston Villa ended their 10-game losing streak at home as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Reading on Saturday.

A lack of goals has been a common theme throughout Villa's season, and despite carving out a number of opportunities against Reading, it was the visitors who took a second half lead. Amalie Eikeland was brought down in the box by Maz Pacheco, and Justine Vanhaevermaet dispatched the resultant spot kick.

Alisha Lehman and Laura Blindkilde had looked lively throughout for the hosts, and the pair combined to set up Villa's equaliser.

Lehman spun in her own half to send two Reading defenders the wrong way, before driving forward and picking out Blindkilde. The teenager's hanging cross was powered home by the head of Ramona Petzelberger as the match finished all square.


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