Champions Chelsea came from behind to beat Brighton 4-2 to maintain their unbeaten start and move level on points with WSL leaders Manchester City.
Sjoeke Nusken got off the mark in the WSL with two goals for Chelsea to put them in control of the game after Pauline Bremer gave Brighton a surprise lead with 10 minutes gone at Kingsmeadow.
Brighton were frustrating Chelsea until Nusken headed in Jess Carter’s cross just before the break with Sophie Baggaley, the visitors’ goalkeeper, having made vital saves to maintain her side’s lead. Nusken added her second on the counter-attack seven minutes into the second half.
The 22-year-old Germany midfielder celebrated as if she had scored her hat-trick goal after a cross from the right was turned in but it was awarded as an own goal by Brighton’s defender Guro Bergsvand.
Substitute Aggie Beever-Jones added a fourth to put the game out of sight for Chelsea with eight minutes left. There was enough time, though ,for Elisabeth Terland, Brighton’s top goalscorer in the WSL, to pull one back with her fourth of the season, but it was too little too late.
Brighton sit ninth after losing their third consecutive league game while only goal difference separates Chelsea and Man City at the top of the table.
Man Utd thrash Everton
Manchester United produced the perfect response to their Champions League exit with a 5-0 mauling of Everton at Walton Hall Park.
Melvine Malard kicked things off in the 14th minute after a strong start from Marc Skinner’s side. She showed her keen instincts as she headed home from a Maya Le Tissier nod-on, after Katie Zelem’s initial corner had been cleared.
It became an end-to-end first half afterwards as Everton reacted well. Mary Earps denied Hanna Bennison and Nicoline Sorensen, while Nikita Parris twice went close at the other end.
But 13 minutes after the break, the Euro 2022 winner found the net as Everton capitulated in the second half. Zelem lifted a lovely cross into the area, with Parris there to power her header through Courtney Brosnan’s fingertips.
She could have nabbed her second in the 76th minute, but her initial effort was saved by Brosnan. Rachel Williams was lurking just by the goalkeeper and was calling for it to be given as over the line.
She made sure it counted, though, as she managed to lift the ball over the top of the goalkeeper for Man Utd’s third.
Nine minutes later and just 11 after coming on as a substitute, Williams completed her double. It was a sweeping finish from the striker, with the Everton defence failing to mark her effectively.
In the third minute of four added on, Parris also joined Williams with two goals to show for her afternoon’s work. Irene Guerrero hoisted a lovely ball in for the forward, who made a fine run in behind. She then lifted the ball over the oncoming Brosnan to round off a fine performance.
West Ham strike late to deny Liverpool
West Ham needed a 95th-minute goal from summer signing Riko Ueki to earn a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Victoria Park in a game of few chances.
It was the visitors who dominated proceedings in the capital, with West Ham captain Mackenzie Arnold the busier of the two goalkeepers before the interval, although there was nothing the Australia international could do when Ceri Holland rattled the bar with a delightful curler on the strike of half-time.
Liverpool defender Gemma Bonner also thumped the bar with a close-range header from a corner at the start of the second half as Liverpool’s pressure grew and they were soon rewarded with a deserved breakthrough seven minutes after the break.
The hosts were authors of their own downfall, though, giving the ball straight to Holland on the edge of the box after a short goal-kick went wrong and, within the blink of an eye, Marie Hobinger found the left-hand corner of the net with an accurate, low drive.
However, Matt Beard’s side were made to pay for further profligacy in front of goal when West Ham stepped up the pace in the closing stages, pulling level with virtually the last kick of the match as their Japan forward stole in to take advantage of Liverpool’s failure to clear a cross from the right.
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