Manchester City go into the festive break just goal-difference behind Arsenal after a narrow win over Birmingham City, Chelsea edge into third spot with a 4-0 victory at Brighton.
Results for Sunday 9th December
Manchester City 1-0 Birmingham City (Att: 1,157)
Everton 0-2 Bristol City (Att: 211)
Reading 2-2 Liverpool (Att: 582)
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-4 Chelsea (Att: 733)
Yeovil Town 0-5 West Ham United (Att: 516)
Man City go level with leaders Arsenal
Manchester City matched the Gunners points tally from a game more when edging Birmingham City by the only goal of the game.
The costs capped a strong start when Georgia Stanway struck a dozen minutes in, following an error by goalkeeper Hannah Hampton from a backpass.
Hampton did later deny Abbie McManus and Lucy Staniforth almost equalised but her free kick came back off the crossbar.
The visitors were close again on 88 minutes but Lucy Quinn’s effort brought a crucial save from Ellie Roebuck.
Four-goal Chelsea go third
Chelsea scored four times in the last 25 minutes to go third on goal-difference but hosts Brighton had previously gone close to scoring on several occasions.
Although early pressure saw Ji So-Yun force Marie Hourihan to tip her strike onto the crossbar, Hedvig Lindahl was called into action twice in a few moments, coming out to thwart Ini Umotong and clawing an Aileen Whelan effort round the post, Whelan then glancing a header wide.
Chelsea struck the bar a second time when Sophie Ingle’s half-volley on 34 minutes hit the woodwork and went over.
After the interval, Whelan played in Ellie Brazil who fired against the post but Chelsea were ahead on 65 minutes from Karen Carney’s free kick, which Magdalena Eriksson glanced in.
It was 2-0 within 5 minutes after a great turn and clipped ball by Ji which Beth England headed over Hourihan and in.
Substitute Ali Riley had a volley turned over and then an Ingle header was headed off the line and onto the bar by Fliss Gibbons.
Ji took her time to pick her spot and make it 3-0 from Riley’s square pass and off a Hannah Blundell cut-back England netted her second.
Rutherford and Rood win it for Bristol
A last-minute goal sealed the points for Bristol City away to Everton, as new boss Willie Kirk suffered a first loss against a former club.
Sophie Baggaley kept out an effort from Inessa Kaagman and Ella Rutherford opened the scoring with an angled volley on 65 minutes from Lucy Graham’s cross.
Angharad James and Chloe Kelly both tested the Bristol keeper but Katie Rood doubled the lead in added time.
Fara foils Reds
Reading twice came from behind to take a point from a 2-2 home draw with Liverpool.
Courtney Sweetman-Kirk had the Reds in front from Kirsty Linnett’s cross but Fara Williams’s free-kick beat Anke Preuss to make it 1-1.
Alhough Sweetman-Kirk took little time to score her second, Williams followed suit but with a 30-yard special.
Hammers hit five
West Ham are just two points behind fifth-placed Reading after they scored all five goals in the game way to Yeovil Town to go sixth in the table.
Alisha Lehmann set the Hammers on their way with an eight-minute brace inside the first half hour, the second from a Ria Percival cross.
Julia Simic made it 3-0 with 34 minutes played, when Percival was again the provider.
Brianna Visalli further extended the advantage after the restart and Simic completed her brace before the hour mark.