WSL Matchday 3 round-up: Hayes admits Chelsea were lucky in City win
Emma Hayes admitted Chelsea were fortunate to beat Manchester City after recovering from a poor first-half showing to claim a 2-0 win.
The champions got their Women's Super League season up and running thanks to goals from Fran Kirby and Maren Mjelde after the break at a sold-out Kingsmeadow.
It was harsh on City, who registered more shots on target than their counterparts and were particularly dominant during the opening period.
But after coming through that pressure to claim their first points of the season following an opening weekend defeat to Liverpool, the Blues boss felt her side ultimately deserved the win.
Hayes, 45, said: "I thought we over-played in the first half and just kept playing ourselves into trouble.
"We went from kicking long against Liverpool last week to now playing out in every situation and giving Man City their best chances.
"To say we didn’t carry out the game plan is unfair to the team but we over-carried out the game plan and played ourselves into trouble.
"In the second half, we adapted something to draw them underneath and play in the right moments, which really worked, but they also stopped pressing.
"We were lucky in the first half and a little bit tentative. It felt like today was the season opener rather than last week and it was two teams without momentum, but I thought it was comfortable in the end after a poor first half."
Positive signs for new-look City
It is now two defeats from two for the Citizens after a shock 4-3 loss to Aston Villa on the opening weekend.
But following a summer of upheaval with plenty of personnel changes, manager Gareth Taylor was encouraged by a lot of what he saw on Sunday despite the result.
On their winless start, he said: "It's not great but it is what it is.
"We've had two away games, two tough away games. We've gone to Villa who are a new team and have done tremendously well on the day and coming here was always going to be difficult.
"They don't really give much away, Chelsea — they lost last week, something was going to give today but I think the reaction and the levels that we showed today was really impressive and gives us something to build on.
"Our situation now is slightly different to what we had last season. It's not injuries, it's just a new team and new players to bed in.
"These will be really good players and this will be a really good team. Unfortunately at the moment we've had a couple of defeats which are tough to take but I think there were really positive signs there today."
Park shines in Merseyside derby
Brian Sorensen hailed Jess Park’s extraordinary display as Everton ran out 3-0 winners against Liverpool in the Merseyside derby in front of 27,000 at Anfield.
The 20-year-old forward, who is on loan from Manchester City, scored undoubtedly the pick of the goals after showing composure to round goalkeeper Rachael Laws and stroke home.
The Toffees boss said: "I'm really happy. I think the girls did exactly what we've been training on. In a game like this to have the coolness and calmness to do well.
"Jess has been a bit sick last week. In pre-season she hasn't had the best ride so we are really lucky that she performed today and she was extraordinary.
"We are putting in a strategy in terms of how we want to play in a clear plan. The identity we want to show is really aggressive, our pressure was good today but we were composed.
"We saw the situation and we did not always have to send it long and chase it all the time."
Park’s performance has led to calls for the youngster to gain international recognition with England.
While Sarina Wiegman has a wealth of options in the Lionesses’ attack, Kelly Smith believes the forward has all the attributes to be a future star for the European champions.
The former England forward told Sky Sports: "If she keeps working hard, and she's got all the vision, technique, pace and power, the world is her oyster."
Record crowds ‘just the start’
Arsenal star Beth Mead says the record WSL crowd for the North London derby is a sign of things to come for women’s football.
Mead, 27, scored a superb opener in the Gunners’ 4-0 victory over Tottenham, which was watched by 47,367 at the Emirates Stadium.
It follows a record-breaking summer for the women’s game, with England’s victorious Euro 2022 final against Germany attracting 87,192 spectators at Wembley — the most for a men’s or women’s European Championship showpiece.
Player of the Tournament Mead said: "It was incredible what we did in the summer but now we want to continue this and hopefully this is still just the beginning.
"I've never experienced that before, the fans were incredible."
England captain and Arsenal team-mate Leah Williamson added: "It was incredible. Days like this, you want to celebrate the occasion but, actually, we have a job to do and we need to make sure we win, and that’s what we did and quite convincingly as well.
"It’s almost a relief we have performed in a way that might bring them back again. The occasion is great but you still have to turn up and do the job, and people still have to turn up next time.
"I feel very privileged because I have had an opportunity in an England shirt and an Arsenal shirt to be in these record-breaking crowds, it feels incredible.
"But I’m proud it’s Arsenal and it’s fitting that the club who have always been here for women’s football have pushed the boundaries and set new boundaries again.
"Setting another record on the back of the summer is exactly what we wanted."
Matchday 3 results in full
Arsenal 4-0 Tottenham
Brighton 2-1 Reading
Leicester 0-2 Aston Villa
West Ham 0-2 Manchester United
Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City
Liverpool 0-3 Everton