WSL and League Cup final: talking points from the weekend’s action | Women’s Super League


Marvellous Miedema reaches new milestone

Just one goal Vivianne? A mere 25% of your team’s total production this weekend? Yes, the Dutch forward only scored once in the 4-2 win against Birmingham on Sunday, making the most of a loose ball in Birmingham’s pinball penalty box. She made it look simple and Miedema most likely puts dozens of those away in training, probably without looking. It is sometimes difficult to put in context just how good she is but one way to illustrate it is that the goal made her the first player in WSL history to reach 100 goal involvements What if we were to also say that the numbers were serenely shaped in the form of 70 goals and 30 assists, and in just 83 appearances? If you already knew this, you’re probably an Arsenal fan. For the rest of us, it might be easier to start betting on what she can’t do. MN

Zelem’s double suggests scoring from corner is no fluke

Katie Zelem produced more magic at the weekend with two goals many would think impossible to score during Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Leicester City. The captain is a dependable set-piece taker and was back in the role as she stepped up to take corners. She smacked the ball straight into the net from the set-piece – not once, but twice in four minutes. The goals were almost identical with Zelem taking the kick from the left hand side with the ball bending into the bottom right of the goal. It means Zelem’s last three goals have all been scored directly from a corner, with her sublime technique also having been seen in United’s 4-1 FA Cup loss to Manchester City. To make matters even sweeter, the two goals came in United’s 100th competitive match. SR

Manchester City sort defence to resurrect season

Manchester City’s resurgence, which continued with the team’s 3-1 defeat of Chelsea in the Continental League Cup final on Saturday, has gone hand in hand with returns from many of the side’s injured cohort. However, it is perhaps the change in position for the defender Alex Greenwood, who was shifted from left-back to centre-back in the course of the season-crippling injury crisis, that is most remarkable. Across the pitch the ship has been steadied, allowing players playing out of position out of necessity to be shifted back to more familiar waters. At centre-back though, with Steph Houghton out again, Greenwood has shone and in the process gone from a maybe for England to a starter. Chelsea, in the first Cup final between the two teams, was a big test and Greenwood coped excellently with the threat of Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder. Gareth Taylor will be looking forward to the resumption of their WSL duties. SW

Moloney celebrates double century with clean sheet

The Reading goalkeeper Grace Moloney made her 200th appearance for the club in their goalless draw against Tottenham. She was presented with a framed shirt by her manager, Kelly Chambers, and celebrated the milestone with a massively impressive performance. The Republic of Ireland international saved brilliantly from Ria Percival and Ashleigh Neville, demonstrating why the keeper has been such a mainstay and why she will continue to add to the tally. The club’s post on Twitter about the feat summed up their love for the keeper: “A special day for our special number one.” A special player indeed. SR

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Villa again fail to take their chances

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the Aston Villa camp. Or perhaps a Seagull, circling at the opportunity of only a second win on the road this year. Because that is exactly what happened at the weekend for Hope Powell’s Brighton side, who emerged victorious against a Villa team tasting their eighth defeat in 10 games. The only goal of the game came in the 28th minute via a sizzling corner from Megan Connolly that set up Maya Le Tissier to steer it home. Villa did have opportunities to hit back, especially through Alisha Lehmann, but spurned their chances. That has been a running theme of their recent, difficult streak and it is not going to be much easier at the weekend when they face the reigning WSL champions Chelsea. MN





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