Just one 100% record in the WSL remains intact after gameweek six in the top flight, as Arsenal extended their winning streak to 14 on the bounce, while Manchester United were beaten for the first time this term.
United lost 3-1 to WSL champions Chelsea, there was a nine-goal thriller between West Ham and Brighton, and Manchester City made it four wins in a row.
Here’s the best of the action with 90min’s weekly WSL awards.
After Everton’s match against Tottenham was called off a little over two hours before kickoff, Toffees supporters who had already made the trip down to east London opted to ensure their journey was not wasted by going to the Chigwell Construction Stadium to watch West Ham versus Brighton instead.
What a masterstroke of a decision.
Supporters were treated to a nine-goal thriller, with a typically goal shy Brighton managing more goals than they had in their opening five WSL outings combined.
The Seagulls had trailed 1-0 and then led 5-2, before Viviane Asseyi netted in the 85th and 86th minute to set up a grandstand finish. Claudia Walker fired narrowly wide in stoppage time as Brighton survived the West Ham fightback and secured all three points.
Chelsea leapfrogged Manchester United and drew level on points with top=of the table Arsenal as they ended the Red Devils’ perfect start of the season with a 3-1 victory at Leigh Sports Village.
Sunday evening was billed as the first true test of United’s title credentials this term, but it was evident that the gap in class between Marc Skinner’s side and the WSL champions was still very much there.
Chelsea turned in a clinical performance, punishing United for two defensive lapses with a pair of well-taken goals from Sam Kerr and Lauren James. Alessia Russo made it interesting by halving the deficit with 20 minutes remaining, before Erin Cuthbert sealed the Chelsea victory in stoppage time to make it six wins in six for the temporary management team of Paul Green and Denise Reddy.
Arsenal were missing first choice centre back pairing Leah Williamson and Rafaelle and instrumental captain Kim Little to injury for their trip to Leicester, while the WSL’s all-time top scorer Vivianne Miedema was also missing, having been granted a leave of absence.
The Gunners struggled when missing key players last season, but not only did they ease to three points against Leicester, those in the side in place of their potentially crucial absentees shone.
Steph Catley and Lotte Wubben-Moy continued to deputise at centre back, not only keeping a clean sheet, but the latter also got on the scoresheet directly from a corner and the former set up her side’s fourth with a fabulous floated pass.
Jordan Nobbs came into midfield for Little and impressed yet again with her movement and passing range. The number 9 and number 10 roles often occupied by Miedema were again taken up by Stina Blackstenius and Frida Maanum respectively – the former chipped in with a goal and assist, and the latter continued her fine form with a goal and player of the match performance.
Danielle Carter was superb as Brighton secured a dramatic victory over West Ham in their first match since Hope Powell had resigned as manager.
Making just her second WSL start of the season, Carter was involved in four of her side’s five goals and excelled with her work rate, pressing and running.
Brighton’s first was all about Carter’s willingness to harry and chase, forcing the error out of Sophie Hillyerd. She then put one on a plate for Viatriki Sarri with a fine cross, netted from the spot and produced the cross from which Jorja Fox added Brighton’s fifth.
Lisa Evans was mightily unfortunate to be on the losing side on Sunday, after the West Ham winger had a hand in all four goals but couldn’t prevent her side slipping to a 5-4 defeat to Brighton.
Evans opened the scoring inside two minutes with a cross-come-shot, before providing the free kick delivery from which West Ham pulled a goal back to make it 3-2 in the second half.
The Scotland international then inspired her side to almost complete a dramatic late comeback, getting the better of Poppy Pattinson with a pair of bursting runs down the right flank and teasing deliveries, which Viviane Asseyi buried on both occasions to make it 5-4 with six minutes remaining.
Another Evans cross from the right caused chaos in the Brighton box, but Walker fired the wrong side of the post as the Hammers failed to find a dramatic equaliser.
Having registered a vital win over relegation rivals Leicester last time out, Reading held Manchester City during the first half of thei pair’s encounter on Sunday, before the deadlock was finally broken in the 53rd minute.
Lauren Hemp’s slaloming run and cross from the left was turned into her own net by Emma Mukandi. Just seven minutes later the same combination were at it again, as Hemp’s delivery was turned onto Mukandi by Jackie Burns, and the Reading defender could do nothing to prevent the ball nestling in her own net once more.
City eventually ran out 3-0 winners, the left flank again wreaking havoc, and Bunny Shaw this time turning home.