WSL Matchday 13 round-up: Chelsea go top as United and Arsenal are held
Chelsea moved to the top of the Women's Super League with a thrilling 3-2 win over Tottenham as title rivals Manchester United and Arsenal were held to goalless draws.
Jess Carter's headed opener was cancelled out by former Blues striker Beth England before Lauren James put the champions back in front with a superb solo effort and Guto Reiten slotted home a crucial third for Emma Hayes' side after the break.
Nikola Karczewska's 88-minute strike made for a nervy finish but Chelsea held on for what could prove to be a pivotal win.
They now have a two-point cushion at the top after United were unable to overcome Everton, while Arsenal are five points adrift following their stalemate at West Ham.
Blues boss Hayes said: "It was a scrappy game. The pitch made it like that.
"First half we didn't create enough depth to have the control we wanted, at least in the deeper spaces. We played ourselves into trouble.
"It was sloppy from us defensively, they were both goals we could have prevented.
"They were a result of us switching off. We can control those things and we have to be mindful of that. But this is a tough league.
"Anybody who thinks it's going to be near-perfect performances, it's not. It's going to be a grind until the end.
"It's one of those games you know across the course of a season you have to grind out a result.
"The important thing is the three points. Was it perfect? No, but it's about three points. We did enough for that to happen.
"Our position's still the same. We know the tough fixtures we've got coming up. We just need to stay focused on our journey and our process."
United drop points
Boss Marc Skinner denied United are feeling the pressure after being knocked off the summit on Matchday 13.
The Red Devils were unable to break down Everton and lacked a cutting edge at Leigh Sports Village.
The home side managed 25 shots throughout the 90 minutes but only four were on target as they failed to make their pressure count against the Toffees.
But Skinner, 39, played down talk of United struggling to deal with being chased by their rivals. He said: "I don't feel that. We were after it and were hungry.
"Life is too short to feel that. You want to be a part of that pressure because it's important, but what is pressure?
"You already put pressure on yourself if you train at the highest intensity every day anyway.
"If you want to be title contenders you have to feel pressure. It's part of our learnings."
It was a similar feeling of frustration for Arsenal, who faltered in their title bid after playing out a goalless draw with seventh-placed West Ham.
The Gunners enjoyed 69% possession and had 21 shots as they dominated the Hammers at Chigwell Construction Stadium but their perfect away record this season came to an end.
Jonas Eidevall's side could have moved within two points of Chelsea with a game in hand had they found a winner but had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Defender Leah Williamson told Sky Sports: "Sometimes it's harder to take when you play well. It was there for us.
"It's frustrating but we haven't got time to dwell on it. When you have such high standards, naturally we're disappointed.
"We know what we need to work on — the final third we need to tweak a few things. Learnings for us, definitely.
"We dominated the whole game. It's really annoying. Those inches in the final third [were lacking]. It gets more and more competitive.
"I think it'll go down to the last game again — which will be good for Sky, not so much for my mum and dad's hearts."
WSL Matchday 13 results
Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton
Leicester 0-2 Manchester City
Manchester United 0-0 Everton
Tottenham 2-3 Chelsea
Liverpool 2-0 Reading
West Ham 0-0 Arsenal