Wins for the top three keeps WSL title race burning

Whether it’s a shock result or a comfortable performance, wins mean everything in the WSL, and Bristol City have now got their first of the season.

Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea all started 2020 with wins and familiar issues are still present at Liverpool.

West Ham vs Everton was postponed due to a flu outbreak in Matt Beard’s squad.

Man United 0-1 Bristol City

By far the most impressive result this weekend was Bristol City’s phenomenal defensive effort against Manchester United.

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Ebony Salmon scored the only goal of the game in fantastic fashion. The 18-year-old forward broke down the left-hand side after Poppy Pattinson played her through.

She rounded Abbie McManus and finished calmly through the legs of Mary Earps.

READ MORE: Oxtoby: Bristol need to make sure Man Utd win ‘isn’t a one-off’

The goal was not the big story of the match, though. Bristol City put in a monumental defensive effort.

Sophie Baggaley had one of the best goalkeeping performances of the season.

United had chances to equalise but were denied by both the post and the crossbar on different occasions.

A disappointed Casey Stoney said: “I’ll be changing the team, we can’t perform like that and think that people can keep their shirts.”

READ MORE: Ebony Salmon stuns former team Man United in 2020 opener

Arsenal 2-0 Birmingham City

Arsenal remain top of the WSL with a routine win at Meadow Park against Birmingham.

Goals from Jordan Nobbs and captain Kim Little saw the Gunners grab a comfortable three points.

This was the first time in seven games that Vivianne Miedema didn’t score for Arsenal. However, this didn’t stop the dutch striker being involved in the goals.

She provided a spectacular assist for Little’s opener, volleying a cross across goal for the skipper to head in.

Nobbs’ finish was full of grandeur. She became the outright third-highest goalscorer in WSL history with her fantastic lobbed effort that sailed over Hannah Hampton.

Birmingham struggled to get a foot in the game but they will rest easy after some good results before the winter break.

Spurs 1-4 Manchester City

Manchester City were 2-0 up within five minutes at the Hive. Pauline Bremer gave them the early lead before Ellen White smashed a rocket in.

Spurs got one back on the 20-minute mark with Rianna Dean scoring her second goal of the season through a spot-kick.

Bremer restored the two-goal cushion, completing her brace before the half-hour mark.

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Lauren Hemp added the fourth just before half-time and Man City were happy to see out the rest of the game in comfortable fashion.

City remain three points behind Arsenal and one ahead of Chelsea, although Emma Hayes’ side have a game in hand over City.

Chelsea 3-1 Reading

Sam Kerr’s debut was a hectic one to say the least.

The Australian started for Chelsea in what was one of the more dramatic games so far this season.

Reading took the lead at Kingsmeadow, with Fara Williams (who else?) scoring a wonderful goal just 15 minutes in. But here’s where it all went south for the Royals.

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Three minutes later, goalkeeper Grace Maloney was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Kerr.

Maloney raced out of her box and took out the Australian forward, leaving Reading at a massive disadvantage. Rachael Laws came on and did a pretty decent job in goal but couldn’t keep out the quality of Chelsea.

Beth England drew the Blues level just before half-time. Then, not to be outdone by anyone, Guro Reiten scored one of the goals of the season.

Erin Cuthbert sealed the deal with a quarter of an hour left to play. Chelsea remain the only undefeated side in the league and keep pace with City and Arsenal.

Brighton 1-0 Liverpool

On the other end of the spectrum, Liverpool are now the only side in the WSL without a victory.

Aileen Whelan’s goal was the difference for the Seagulls as they earned their second victory of the campaign.

The three points also puts some proper daylight between them and Liverpool, who sit on three points after 11 games.

Liverpool’s story has been the same all season and the introduction of Rachel Furness did nothing to change that.

Despite not getting hammered by anyone this season, the Reds haven’t really done enough in any of their games to warrant a win.

Liverpool are once again rock bottom of the WSL and are now three points adrift from Bristol City.

Liverpool take on Manchester United at Prenton Park next Sunday and should be scared of the reaction they’ll have to losing to Bristol City.

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