#FAWSL: Fran Kirby winner sends Chelsea Women top of the table

Fran Kirby got the goal that put Chelsea top of the league. (Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA)

Chelsea beat Manchester United 2-1 to replace them at the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on goal-difference with a game still in hand.

WSL results – 17 January

Manchester City 7-0 Aston Villa
Everton 4-0 Bristol City
Birmingham City 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Reading 1-1 Arsenal
Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United
West Ham 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea edge into first place

Chelsea extended their unbeaten run at the expense of Manchester United, taking maximum points with a second-half winner.

Mary Earps’ outstretched foot denied Sam Kerr a very early goal but Chelsea did score just before the half-hour mark, at the third attempt. A goal-line clearance was followed by Fran Kirby’s shot against the post, with Pernille Harder netting the rebound.

Kirsty Hanson had the ball in the back of the hosts’ net only to be flagged offside but Lauren James came off the bench to curl an excellent equaliser into the bottom corner.

Moments afterwards Earps kept out a Kerr effort, then a long ball let in Kirby to dink in what proved to be the decider on 65 minutes.

Royals hold Gunners

Reading's Lauren Bruton (centre) celebrates
Reading’s Lauren Bruton (centre) celebrates her goal. (PA Images)

Reading gave Arsenal an early shock as Lauren Bruton gave the Royals a fifth-minute lead via Emma Mitchell’s free kick.

The Gunners levelled before half-time, Vivianne Miedema with a close-range finish after Grace Moloney made a diving parry to keep out a Jill Roord header.

Miedema had a great chance to give Arsenal a second-half advantage but turned Beth Mead’s cross over the bar, while Moloney turned Roord’s flick round the post.

The Royals’ Kristine Leine was stretchered off late on after a nasty collision, nine minutes of added time followed but Arsenal could not find a winner.

Man City put seven past Villa

Man City's Lauren hemp celebrates
Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp celebrates scoring the opening goal. (PA Images)

Manchester City had the points well and truly tied up by half-time against Aston Villa, having already scored six goals, as they moved within two points of Arsenal from a game fewer.

Lauren Hemp slid in to finish off a ball across the box by Chloe Kelly just two minutes in, with Lucy Bronze later setting up both Jill Scott and Georgia Stanway to net.

Hemp got her second from Kelly’s corner, then forced an own-goal before Ellen White had a tap in.

Kelly charged down Lisa Weiss’s clearance to complete the scoring 11 minutes from the end.

Birmingham and Brighton end goalless

Birmingham v Brighton action
Birmingham City’s Sarah Mayling and Brighton’s Beth Roe battle for the ball. (PA Images)

Birmingham City and Brighton & Hove Albion earned an important point a piece with a 0-0 draw, which saw the hosts stay narrowly ahead of their visitors in the table.

City’s Hannah Hampton kept out efforts by Rianna Jarrett and Ellie Brazil, while the home side’s own forwards were unable to get on the end of Rebecca Holloway’s cross in the latter stages.

Spurs record third straight win

Lucy Quinn scores for Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur’s Lucy Quinn scores. (PA Images)

Tottenham won 1-0 away to West Ham to make it three wins in a row for the first time in the top tier, thereby moving up to seventh spot.

Spurs broke the deadlock in thee 35th minute, Gemma Davison cutting the ball back and Lucy Quinn finding the net.

After the interval, Martha Thomas fired narrowly over and Emily van Egmond forced a good stop from Becky Spencer.

Christiansen brace helps ease Everton to victory

Simone Magill scores
Everton’s Simone Magill scores her side’s second goal of the game. (PA Images)

Izzy Christiansen scored twice as Everton beat Bristol City 4-0, netting the first after only 4 minutes from a Nicoline Sorensen cross.

It was 2-0 before the break, Benedicte Haaland spilling Hayley Raso’s cross and Simone Magill turning the ball home.

Christiansen cut inside to strike her second goal of the game before the hour mark, then crossing for Megan Finnegan to head home the fourth.

Conti Cup semi-final draw

Meanwhile, the draw for the Continental Cup semi-final was made on Sunday afternoon, with Manchester City or Chelsea set to host West Ham or Durham, while Bristol City entertain Leicester City

Those ties will be played on the 3 and 4 February.

Birmingham City Women sign striker Ruesha Littlejohn

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