Chelsea star steals the show, Everton's hat-trick hero, Liverpool's matchwinner - three standout stars from the FAWSL weekend
What an eventful day at both ends of the Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League table Sunday was. We have new leaders and a new team propping up the table after some crucial results this weekend.
Chelsea came flying out the blocks in their top-of-the-table clash with Arsenal, taking a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes before going on to beat their title rivals 4-1.
Manchester City now lead the way on goal difference, after a routine 2-0 victory over Birmingham, with Ellen White netting after just 34 seconds.
Everton beat Reading 3-1, while Merseyside neighbours Liverpool recorded their first league victory of the season against Bristol City, who replace them at the foot of the table after their 1-0 defeat.
Katie Zelem’s brace helped Manchester United defeat Tottenham 3-0, while a late Alisha Lehmann brace saw West Ham take the points in a 2-1 victory over Brighton.
Here are the top three performers of the weekend
In truth, this could have gone to any of the Chelsea team on Sunday, as the Blues romped to a 4-1 victory at Meadow Park to continue their unbeaten run and blow the title race wide open.
Beth England did what Beth England does, Sam Kerr opened her account in the FA WSL, but it was Ingle who stole the show in North London with a third goal right out of the top drawer.
As the Gunners headed a ball into the box away, it seemed to sit up perfectly for the 28-year-old, who returned it with interest as it rifled into the top corner past a helpless Manuela Zinsberger.
That was the cherry on the cake for Emma Hayes’ side, as they blew the table-toppers away within the first 20 minutes to close the gap at the top to just a single point, with a game in hand.
That moment of magic is added to an ever-growing list for Ingle, after a brilliant finish against West Ham earlier in the season, as well as a delicious lobbed volley for Wales against Israel back in August.
With momentum now firmly behind the Blues after that impressive away victory, they have all the makings of a championship-winning side as we head into the run-in.
What a weekend for Chloe Kelly, who became the first Everton player to score a league hat-trick since Toni Duggan in 2013.
The 22-year-old now has eight league goals this season, putting her among the top scorers in the FA WSL this campaign, and she certainly left her mark on Sunday’s clash with Reading.
Her first showed great composure after being played clean through on goal. As Rachael Laws came rushing out to narrow the angle, Kelly kept her cool and slipped the ball past her to open the scoring for the Toffees.
After doubling the advantage direct from a corner some people may say she didn’t mean her second goal, but you never know with her at the moment, as her whipped delivery deceived everyone to nestle in the net.
The striker then made sure of taking the match-ball home just after the hour mark, as she escaped her marker with a crafty near-post run and secured the three points for Everton and three goals for herself.
It may have taken 12 games, and they may have only scored four goals in that time, but Liverpool finally have a first WSL victory of the season, and they have no one more than Anke Preuß to thank for it.
After Rachel Furness put the Reds ahead early on against Bristol City, the home side threw everything to try and find an equaliser, but they found the German shot-stopper in imperious form.
The Robins couldn’t even get past the 27-year-old from the spot, as she repelled Charlie Wellings from 12 yards, before batting away the follow-up from Poppy Pattinson.
After sitting the last three league matches out, Preuß returned to the starting line-up and secured a first league clean sheet of the season for Vicky Jepson’s side with another late block to deny Megan Wynne.
Liverpool now sit ahead of City on goal difference, and if they continue to keep it tight at the back, they will be in good shape to survive the drop come the end of the season.