Chelsea debutant, Arsenal star and Bristol City's Salmon - standout performers in the WSL weekend
The first weekend of Women’s Super League action of the new decade saw another Sunday packed with action, and as we hit the midway point of the season, the three-way title race is still wide open.
The leading trio of Arsenal, Manchester City, and Chelsea all saw the new year in with a victory, as the Gunners made it seven consecutive league wins with a 2-0 win over Birmingham.
Pauline Bremer grabbed herself another brace as City overcame Tottenham 4-1 at The Hive, while Chelsea had to come from behind to beat Reading 3-1.
At the bottom of the table, it was a memorable weekend for Bristol City, as they got their first victory of the season with a 1-0 win away at Manchester United, while Liverpool’s wait for that elusive first win continues after another slender 1-0 defeat to Brighton.
With West Ham’s match with Everton being called off due to illness in the Hammers’ camp, there were only five matches this weekend but there were still plenty of standout performances to choose from.
Sam Kerr – Chelsea
We couldn’t start anywhere else, could we?
Ever since her signing was announced in November, the Women’s Super League has been eagerly waiting to see Kerr make her Blues debut and this Sunday we finally got to see the Australian superstar in action.
She might not have bagged herself a goal on her debut for the Blues, but she did everything but score in a promising debut for Emma Hayes’ side.
The prolific goalscorer will have a bruise or two to remember the occasion by after being clattered by visiting goalkeeper Grace Moloney as the shot stopper saw red 18 minutes in.
We saw glimpses of the talent she possesses, as her sublime flick set strike partner Beth England away to equalise for the home side after going a goal down.
She showed her rustiness at times with two one-on-ones spurned, but that can only be expected after not playing since mid-November.
Blues fans will be spirited by her first game at Kingsmeadow, and by the looks of things, Kerr will be a pivotal addition as they push to reclaim the WSL title come May.
Jordan Nobbs – Arsenal
We have been treated to some delicious goals in the Women’s Super League already this season, and Jordan Nobbs’ strike against Birmingham is another to add to the list.
The 27-year-old’s third goal of the season will last long in the memory, as her first time lobbed volley from the edge of the area left visiting goalkeeper Hannah Hampton with no chance.
Nobbs’ effort came after Kim Little had given the hosts an early lead at Meadow Park, with the captain nodding in a cross from Vivianne Miedema after just nine minutes to set Joe Montemurro’s side on the way to their seventh straight league win of the season.
After an injury-laden 2019, the England international is looking back to her best in the Gunners’ midfield and will be looking to add even more goals as the season progresses.
Ebony Salmon – Bristol City
It was going to take something special if Bristol City were going to get their first victory of the season away at Manchester United, and that’s exactly what Ebony Salmon produced in their 1-0 win at Leigh Sports Village.
The 18-year-old had her back to goal on the left-wing when she received the ball, but she soon left England international Abbie McManus for dead, before marauding into the area to fire past Mary Earps in the hosts’ net.
Her third goal of the season proved the difference for the Robins, as they finally got their first three points of the season to edge three points above winless Liverpool at the bottom.
Despite their lowly league position, Salmon has looked promising for City this season, and if they are to eventually beat the drop, they may need a few more pieces of magic like we saw on Sunday.
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