Who is going to win the Women's Super League?! Winners and losers as Man City blow the title race wide open with victory over Chelsea

Chloe Kelly Laia Aleixandri Manchester City Women 2022-23
Just three points separate Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal at the top of the WSL table, with the relegation battle still extremely tight, too.

With the Merseyside derby on Friday night, the north London derby on Saturday afternoon and a clash of title rivals as Manchester City welcomed Chelsea on Sunday, this past weekend's programme of Women's Super League fixtures came with high expectations.

Fortunately, it lived up to the billing. Everton and Liverpool played out a game with an entertaining finale at Goodison Park, eventually sharing the spoils; Arsenal strutted their stuff, putting five past Spurs in an emphatic win; and Man City blew the title race wide open with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea.

The latter result put the Citizens into second place, level on points with a Manchester United side that beat West Ham 4-0 on Saturday, with Chelsea dropping to third as Arsenal remain fourth. The Blues, one point off the pace, and the Gunners, three points behind, both have a game in hand.

There was plenty going on at the other end of the table, too. Bottom club Leicester have seen their positive momentum halted recently and a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of an impressive Aston Villa didn't help, while Brighton blew a 2-0 lead at Reading in a clash between the two teams directly above the Foxes.

So, who were the impressive performers over three entertaining days of football? And who should be concerned by the weekend's action? GOAL takes a look...

  1. WINNER: Caitlin Foord

    WINNER: Caitlin Foord

    Arsenal have made a flurry of new signings this calendar year, particularly in the attacking areas. Centre forward Jodie Taylor arrived this month after both Victoria Pelova, a winger or a No.10, and Kathrine Kuhl, who can play in midfield or out wide, joined in January.

    Competition is certainly increasing in that forward line but Caitlin Foord showed, once again, on Saturday that she should be a key player in it.

    The Australia international scored twice as Arsenal beat their north London rivals, Tottenham, 5-1 and was the outstanding player on the pitch. That brace took her to double figures for goal involvements in the WSL this season, with four goals and six assists in 15 games.

    The Gunners have a huge end to the campaign coming up, with a 1-0 deficit to overcome in their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday and a race for European football and possibly the league title to follow.

    Foord, in this form, could come up with some crucial contributions in that run in.

  2. LOSER: Liverpool

    LOSER: Liverpool

    When Liverpool welcomed city rivals Everton to Anfield back in September, they were out-classed. The Toffees ran out 3-0 winners in a difficult day for their hosts. On Friday night, then, the Reds were out for revenge.

    The rematch took place at Goodison Park and it looked like Liverpool were going to take all three points the short journey home.

    At 1-1, a clever corner routine saw Missy Bo Kearns drill a low ball into Yana Daniels at the near post, with the Belgian flicking it on for Leighanne Robe to finish. It would've been the defender's first ever WSL goal.

    However, the referee disallowed it, penalising Ceri Holland for a foul on Everton goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan beforehand. It looked a very harsh decision at the time and even more so on the replay.

    With the final score 1-1, Liverpool can feel incredibly aggrieved that they didn't come away from this game with all three points.

  3. WINNER: Lucia Garcia

    WINNER: Lucia Garcia

    Most of the players in Man Utd's regular starting XI seem to have nailed their places down in the line-up. However, there is a spot on the right wing that feels like it has been well up for grabs all season, with Nikita Parris and Lucia Garcia alternating there.

    On Saturday, as the Red Devils beat West Ham 4-0, Garcia staked her biggest claim to date to be a regular from the start as she scored twice in an impressive performance from the bench at Old Trafford.

    Marc Skinner's side had struggled to convert their dominance in the game into a convincing result until the Spaniard came off the bench, scoring 10 minutes after doing so.

    It was a good goal, too. Her great run was well found by Ella Toone, with Garcia then bringing the ball down with a quality first touch before side footing past Mackenzie Arnold in the away goal.

    The forward was involved in the build-up to the third, scored by Hayley Ladd, and tapped in the fourth in stoppage time, having popped up in the right place at the right time.

    It's down to Garcia now to show that form consistently in order to be a regular in Skinner's XI.

  4. LOSER: Chelsea

    LOSER: Chelsea

    On Sunday, Chelsea visited Man City. They had beaten the Citizens in their last 11 league meetings ahead of the game and, if they were to make it 12 wins in a row, they would surely have one hand on the WSL title.

    But, four days after a demanding clash with European champions Lyon in France, the Blues were "sluggish" and their opponents capitalised, going 2-0 up inside 30 minutes. Chelsea manager Emma Hayes even made changes before half time as a result, with star winger Lauren James one of those taken off.

    "[Our] third away game in a week and I thought it looked like it," Hayes said afterwards. "I thought it was the difference between the two teams in the first half. I don’t think people really realise how tough it is to come here in the third away game in seven days after an away game in Lyon. Really, really tough."

    Chelsea, the current WSL title holders, are now in third place in the table, only a point behind Man City and Man Utd above them, but they may well have more of these demanding weeks ahead of them yet.

    Hayes' side won 1-0 in France and if they are not beaten by Lyon at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, they will be in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Could the schedule hinder them further in what is an incredibly tight title race? Only time will tell.

  5. WINNER: Filippa Angeldahl

    WINNER: Filippa Angeldahl

    This is Filippa Angeldahl's second season at Manchester City. The Sweden international – key in the teams that reached the Olympic final in 2021 and the semi-finals of Euro 2022 – hasn't fully nailed down a place in the midfield yet but her performance against Chelsea was a further step towards doing so.

    Angeldahl has started six league games this season and three of them have been this month. She marked that momentum on Sunday with one of her best displays in a City shirt, scoring an absolutely gorgeous opening goal as her team marched on to a vital victory.

    It wasn't just that strike that made it a good performance, though. The 25-year-old pressed incredibly well, which was key to City's game plan, with only two players on the pitch winning possession back on more occasions than she did.

    She also completed all of her passes in the final third and made five interceptions as City came out on top, moving up to second in the table.

    It feels like Angeldahl is now making a strong case to be a regular in Gareth Taylor's XI and Sunday was the perfect encapsulation of what she can bring to his title-chasing team.

  6. LOSER: Brighton

    LOSER: Brighton

    Conceding too many goals has been the story of Brighton's season and their problems in defence showed again this past weekend as the Seagulls let a two-goal lead slip away at relegation rivals Reading.

    The visitors got off to a flying start when Veatriki Sarri opened the scoring after eight minutes, with her doubling that lead five minutes later.

    But while the second half should've been all about securing those three points, Brighton instead dropped two of them.

    Super sub Emma Harries, introduced at half time, got both goals, with the first from a simple long ball over the top.

    The equaliser, from a cross into the box, should have also been straight forward to defend but that it wasn't sums up the Seagulls' season. This is a team that had a reputation for being defensively astute for so long, but we've not seen that side of them all year.

    On this occasion, that meant Brighton surrendered a win that would've been huge. It would've taken them above Reading and five points clear of the drop zone.

    Instead, they remain the team under the most immediate threat from bottom club Leicester who, fortunately for those above them, were soundly beaten by Aston Villa on Sunday.