2021-22 WSL: Week One – Five Roundup

(Image credit: Arsenal FC)

With 2021-22 Women’s Super League now well underway, we round up all the action from week one to five of the new season.

Chelsea entered the season as two-time defending champion but faced a difficult start against a refresh Arsenal team under new management of Jonas Eidevall as the Gunners look to mount a title challenge.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur meanwhile all looked to get in on the title fight, whilst newly-promoted Leicester City endured a tough start to life in the top flight as they seek to avoid instant relegation back to the Women’s Championship.

Now here is a full roundup of all five rounds of WSL action so far this season as the campaign enters a four-week break.

 

Week One

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Debut goals from Vicky Losada and Khadija Shaw either side of strikes from Janine Beckie and Steph Houghton helped Man City thrash Everton 4-0 to go top on the opening weekend of the 2021-22 WSL season.

Brighton comfortably dispatched 10-woman West Ham 2-0 to sit second as Inessa Kaagman netted a penalty after Hawa Cissoko was red carded for handball, before Lee Geum-min wrapped up a two goal victory within eight first-half minutes.

Ella Toone provided assists for Kirsty Hanson and Ona Batlle as Manchester United kicked off the season with an opening-night victory over Reading to put Marc Skinner’s new Red Devils third.

Defending champions, Chelsea meanwhile suffered a shock 3-2 loss at Arsenal in a enthralling London derby, in which Beth Mead netted a brace whilst Vivianne Miedema provided a goal and assist for the Gunners.

Newly promoted Leicester suffered defeat in a Midlands derby as Sarah Mayling and Remi Allen completed a second-half comeback for Aston Villa in a 2-1 win, after having fallen behind through Hannah Hampton’s 38th minute own goal.

Kit Graham made history for Tottenham Hotspur as her 40th minute strike from a short corner sealed a narrow win over Birmingham City, thus making Graham Spurs’ first female player to score at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and their first win at the venue in four attempts.

 

Week Two

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Kaagman and Kayleigh Green provided one goal and assist apiece as Brighton climbed to the WSL summit with a ruthless five goal mauling of Birmingham City at St Andrew’s Stadium, in which Danielle Carter netted her first goal for the Seagulls since joining from Reading in the summer.

Arsenal climbed to second after thrashing Reading 4-0 at the Madejski Stadium in which Jen Beattie netted first before Mead scored their second goal, with the latter eventually providing the assists in both of Miedema’s two goals to complete a dominant away win.

Strikes from Ella Toone, Maria Thorisdottir and Martha Thomas saw Man Utd go third after defeating Leicester 3-1 at the King Power Stadium, despite Abbie McManus scoring for the Foxes against her former team.

Tottenham snatched a shock controversial comeback victory away at Manchester City as Lauren Hemp’s opening header for the hosts was cancelled out by Rachel Williams, prior to Karima Benameur Taieb’s 86th minute own goal handing Spurs the win despite Rosella Ayane’s handball.

Chelsea bounced back from their shock opening weekend loss in a clinical 4-0 win over Everton, as Sam Kerr netted a brace, with Fran Kirby and Bethany England also finding the net.

Allen’s 92nd minute equaliser again completed a late comeback for Aston Villa as they this time snatched a point away at West Ham, having fallen behind to Adriana Leon’s eighth minute strike.

 

Week Three

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Kim Little’s brace helped Arsenal climb to the top of the WSL with a dominant 5-0 home win over Man City, as Vivianne Miedema provided a goal and assist whilst Katie McCabe and Leah Williamson also got their names on the scoresheet.

Tottenham meanwhile improved to second with their third consecutive league win as Jessica Naz struck a 85th minute winner from Tang Jiali’s pass.

Emily Gielnek’s 48th minute dinked strike proved enough for Aston Villa to edge past Brighton and rise to third in a scrappy contest.

Chelsea continued their rise up the table as Kirby netted a second minute opener before assisting Kerr for both of the Aussie’s two goals in a 6-1 away routing of Manchester United, as Pernille Harder, Drew Spence and Jessie Fleming added their names to the scoresheet to send the Blues fourth.

Leonie Maier, Hanna Bennison and Rikke Sevecke all found the net as Everton thrashed Birmingham City 3-1 to climb off the foot of the table.

West Ham also got their first league win of the campaign with a four goal thrashing of Leicester as Tameka Yallop and Claudia Walker netted, before own goals from Ashleigh Plumptre and Kirstie Levell wrapped up a home win for the Hammers.

 

Week Four

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Arsenal stayed top of the table as Little netted a second brace in consecutive matches in a 4-0 away win over Aston Villa, with Mana Iwabuchi and Katie McCabe also finding the net as the latter blasted in from 30 yards.

Rachel Williams and Angela Addison scored in an clinical 2-0 away win for Tottenham at Leicester to continue their unbeaten start to the WSL season, as Spurs continue to sit behind Arsenal on goal difference.

Chelsea improved to third with a 3-1 home win over Brighton as Fran Kirby provided a hat-trick of assists after teeing up Guro Reiten, Kerr and England, despite Carter reducing Brighton’s deficit early in the second half.

Hannah Blundell provided assists for Leah Galton and Ella Toone in a comfortable 2-0 away win for Manchester United at Birmingham City.

Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s 39th minute header coupled with Yui Hagewasa’s injury-time chipped winner wrapped up a shock 2-0 win for West Ham away to Manchester City at the Academy Stadium, where the Hammers had conceded 16 goals in their three previous visits.

Reading slipped to rock-bottom on goal difference as Anna Anvegard, Claire Emslie and Danielle Turner all netted in a 3-0 victory for Everton away at Madejski Stadium.

 

Week Five

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Katie McCabe provided a goal and assist apiece as Arsenal defeated Everton 3-0 to remain top of the WSL heading into a four week break, with Lotte Wubben-Moy’s header and Frida Maanum’s 25-yard strike wrapping up the win.

Tottenham suffered a surprise defeat away to Brighton as Geum-min and Victoria Williams netted for thee Seagulls in a 2-1 win, with Kit Graham netting Spurs’ 88th minute consolatory goal after Rachel Williams had been red carded for a foul on Felicity Gibbons in the 76th minute.

Chelsea consequently took advantage of Tottenham’s loss to climb to second with late goals from Harder and Kirby, after having been made to dig deep in a scrappy contest by Leicester at Kingsmeadow.

Man Utd stay fourth as goals in three minutes from Lucy Staniforth and Alessio Russo looked to have overturned Shaw’s opener for Man City in a thrilling Manchester derby at Leigh Sport Village, only for Ellen White to lash in a 78th minute rebound strike to rescue the Citizens a 2-2 draw.

Rachel Rowe and Amalie Eikeland set each other’s goals before Natasha Dowie struck a first-half injury time strike to secure Reading’s first win of WSL season, as the Royals thrashed Aston Villa 3-0 at home.

Birmingham City picked up their first point of the campaign as Louise Quinn cancelled out Walker’s opener in a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Now here is the table in full after the opening five rounds of the 2021-22 WSL season.

Position Team Played  Win Draw Loss Points
1 Arsenal 5 5 0 0 15
2 Chelsea 5 4 0 1 12
3 Tottenham 5 4 0 1 12
4 Manchester United 5 3 1 1 10
5 Brighton 5 3 0 2 9
6 West Ham 5 2 2 1 8
7 Aston Villa 5 2 1 2 7
8 Everton 5 2 0 3 6
9 Manchester City 5 1 1 3 4
10 Reading 5 1 0 4 3
11 Birmingham City 5 0 1 4 1
12 Leicester City 5 0 0 5 0

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