Aston Villa end WSL campaign with big win, Rachel Daly wins Golden Boot

Rachel Daly of Aston Villa jumps into the air to celebrate scoring a goal
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Rachel Daly of Aston Villa celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's first goal during the FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Meadow Park on May 27, 2023 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Aston Villa rounded off an impressive Women’s Super League season with a win over Arsenal to secure their fifth-place finish. Star striker Rachel Daly also picked up the Golden Boot award after finishing with an astonishing 22 goals, levelling Vivianne Miedema’s record for most goals in a single campaign.

The last time the two teams met was during the Continental Cup quarter-final in January. Aston Villa suffered a 3-0 defeat on that day to the eventual champions of the tournament.

Yet again, Arsenal had crucial players missing, which has been the common theme this season. Lina Hurtig and Caitlin Foord were also unavailable for the match as a precaution ahead of the World Cup. Additionally, Aston Villa were without Kenza Dali and former Gunner Jordan Nobbs.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa — Lineups


D’angelo; Wubben-Moy, Beattie, Rafaelle, Maritz, Pelova, Maanum, Catley, McCabe, Taylor (Gio 82′), Blackstenius (Kühl 46′).

Aston Viilla

Hampton; Pacheco, Turner, Corsie, Mayling, Hanson, Staniforth (Magill 67′), Allen (Boye-Hlorkah 90′), Blindkilde Brown, Lehmann, Daly.

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Aston Villa round off impressive season

Despite an early chance from Stina Blackstenius which trickled just wide of the post, Aston Villa were the happier of the two sides as the half-time whistle was blown. In added time, Arsenal failed to clear a corner and Daly was in the perfect position to tap it home. The Lioness yet again found herself on the scoresheet, notching a massive 22 goals for the season. Daly collected the Golden Boot as the full-time celebrations got underway.

The second half did not start as the Gunners would have planned, with Alisha Lehmann scoring in the 49th minute. This marked her fifth WSL goal of the season.

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Tensions ran high during the second half for Arsenal fans following the news that Manchester City were leading at home against Everton. However, the Gunners held on and solidified their place in the UWCL qualifiers in September.

This season has been admirable from Villa as they enjoyed their highest ever point tally in the top flight. Could they turn the big four into a big five next season?

As well as banking their first ever win over Arsenal, Villa fans can celebrate the news of Carla Ward signing a new contract, rewarding her impressive management this season.

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