Roundup of the opening seven matchweeks of 2022-23 Women’s Super League season.
Anticipation for the new season was high following England’s success on home soil at this summer’s UEFA Women’s Euros, of which the opening rounds matched as Chelsea set about their title defence whilst Arsenal and Manchester United sought to take the fight to the Blues.
Now, here is a full roundup of the opening seven matchweeks and how the table currently stacks up.
All six matches were originally scheduled across weekend of 10-11 September, but were postponed on 9 September following the death of Her Majesty The Queen the previous day (8 September).
Teams consequently were allowed to rearrange their opening fixtures for dates of their own choosing, rather than WSL rearranging the entire opening matchweek for a later date during the season.
A late brace from Beth Mead coupled with goals from Kim Little and Stina Blackstenius saw last season’s runners-up, Arsenal thrash Brighton 4-0 to go top of the table, whilst the Seagulls were reduced to ten players following Emma Kullberg’s seventh minute red card.
Maya Le Tissier’s debut brace plus strikes from Katie Zelem and Alessia Russio saw Man Utd defeat Reading 4-0 to sit second by virtue of alphabetical order.
Rachel Daly’s brace on her return to WSL action following her move home from Houston Dash – amidst a loan stint at West Ham in late 2020 – fired Aston Villa a dramatic 4-3 victory over Manchester City at Villa Park, whilst Laura Coombs struck twice for the Citizens.
Katie Stengel struck twice from the penalty spot as Liverpool fought back to stun reigning champions, Chelsea 2-1, after the Blues had led through Fran Kirby’s third-minute opener.
First-half goals from Ashleigh Neville and summer signing, Drew Spence fired Tottenham to a 2-1 win at Leicester, despite Spence netting a 58th minute own goal.
Lisa Evans’ 45th minute header saw West Ham snatch a narrow home win over Everton.
Vivianne Miedema’s brace coupled with goals from Beth Mead and Rafaelle Souza fired league leaders, Arsenal to a 4-0 victory over Tottenham in the North London derby, held in front of 47,367 fans at Emirates Stadium.
Second-half goals from Lucia Garcia and Hannah Blundell ensured Man Utd won 2-0 at West Ham to stay second.
Goals from Rachel Daly and Emily Gielnik ensured Aston Villa beat Leicester 2-0 to sit third in the standings again.
Jess Park provided a goal and assist as Everton stunned Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield in the Merseyside derby, with Megan Finnigan and Hanna Bennison also finding the net before the Toffees then beat Reading in a rearranged midweek clash through Kirstie Levell’s own goal to climb to third.
Kirby and Maren Mjelde fired Chelsea to a 2-0 victory at home to Man City at Kingsmeadow, before Emma Hayes’ Blues came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 in a rearranged midweek clash with Kirby again finding the target.
Strikes either side of half-time from Lee Geum-min and Katie Robinson fired Brighton to a 2-1 victory over Reading, despite Charlie Wellings’ consolatory injury-time goal for the Royals.
Man Utd moved top of the table on goal difference with a 4-0 mauling of Brighton at home as Ella Toone struck twice and provided an assist for Adriana Leon, whilst Leah Galton scored their third goal and provided two assists of her own.
Arsenal consequently slipped to second with a narrow away win at Reading as Blackstenius smashed in a 30th minute winner.
Pernille Harder’s brace and Niamh Charles’ injury-time goal fired Chelsea up to third with a 3-1 win away at Everton, despite Kadeisha Buchanan’s own goal to halve the deficit in the 53rd minute which cancelled out Harder’s opener.
Everton’s defeat consequently lifted Villa up to third on goal difference despite the Villains losing 2-1 at home to West Ham in a ill-tempered clash, which culminated in Hawa Cissoko’s stoppage-time red card following a row with Sarah Mayling.
Khadija Shaw’s brace and goals from Lauren Hemp plus Yui Hasegawa fired Man City to a 4-0 win over Leicester.
Niamh Fahey’s 11th minute own goal saw Tottenham defeat Liverpool in a close contest.
Lia Walti and Frida Maanum found the net as Arsenal defeated Liverpool 2-0 away from home to move back top on virtue of alphabetical order.
Man Utd consequently slipped to second after scraping victory at Leicester through Nikita Parris’ 33rd minute header from Zelem’s free-kick.
Second-half goals from Bethany England and Harder fired Chelsea up to third with a 2-0 win against Brighton.
Lucy Graham’s 57th minute headed winner saw Everton beat Aston Villa to go fourth on goal difference.
Viviane Asseyi’s brace plus Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s effort fired West Ham into fifth with a 3-2 home victory against Reading.
Shaw scored twice and Hemp netted a 78th minute strike as Man City comfortably clinched a 3-0 away victory at Tottenham.
Galton and Hayley Ladd produced one goal and assist apiece to return Man Utd to the WSL summit with a 3-0 win at Everton, in which Parris opened the scoring as the Red Devils became the first team in six years to win their opening five league games without conceding.
Arsenal therefore slid to second on goal difference after Jordan Nobbs, Blackstenius and Maanum all netted in a comeback 3-1 win at home to West Ham.
Lauren James’ brace and Sam Kerr’s strike saw Chelsea survive a scare to defeat Aston Villa 3-1 at Kingsmeadow, despite having been pegged back by Daly’s equaliser for the Villains.
Hayley Raso struck a 75th minute winner to clinch a 2-1 home win for Man City against Liverpool, after Shaw’s opening goal was cancelled out by Stengel.
Neville, Spence and Jessica Naz all struck twice following opening goals from Molly Bartrip and Nikola Karczewska, as Tottenham ruthlessly thrashed Brighton 8-0 away from hope, which led Hope Powell to quit as the Seagulls’ manager.
Late goals from Rachel Rowe saw Reading fight back to stun rock-bottom Leicester 2-1 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, after Natasha Flint had put the Foxes in front in the 36th minute.
Maanum, Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley and Blackstenius all found the net as Arsenal thrashed rock-bottom Leicester 4-0 at the King Power Stadium, which returned Jonas Eidevall’s Gunners to the summit.
Second-half goals from Kerr, James and Erin Cuthbert saw Chelsea leapfrog Man Utd into second, despite Russo briefly halving the deficit in a 3-1 win for the Blues at Leigh Sport Village.
Two own goals from Emma Mukandi and a 76th minute goal from Shaw saw Manchester City comfortably secure a 3-0 away win at Reading.
Asseyi’s late brace failed to rescue West Ham a point at home to Brighton, as the Seagulls ran out 5-4 winners in a nine-goal thriller, with Danielle Carter netting a brace whilst Veatriki Sarri, Elisabeth Terland and Jorja Fox also netted for the visitors.
Daly’s 57th minute penalty handed Aston Villa victory away at Liverpool after Kirsty Hanson had been fouled by Rachel Laws.
Tottenham’s home clash against Everton was postponed due to a waterlodged pitch at Brisbane Road, following torrential rainfall across London.