WSL Matchday 8 round-up: United inflict Gunners' first league defeat
Manchester United ended Arsenal's unbeaten run in the Women's Super League with a 3-2 win at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Red Devils went to North London looking to bounce back having suffered defeat for the first time against Chelsea on Matchday 8.
United took the lead in the first half after Ella Toone tapped into an empty net with goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger failing to clear a cross.
The Gunners were level inside 37 seconds of the second half — Frida Maanum took aim before a wicked deflection carried the ball past Mary Earps and into the net.
Laura Wienroither grabbed a second for Arsenal after arriving late at the back post to turn in a fabulous cross from Katie McCabe.
Millie Turner grabbed her first WSL goal of the season five minutes from time, meeting a free-kick delivered by Katie Zelem and heading in off the crossbar.
And it was Alessia Russo who won it for Marc Skinner's side, heading in from a corner in the first minute of stoppage time.
After the game, Skinner hailed his side, saying: "I’m not blowing it up. But tonight we decided we did not want to leave this game without showing bravery and personality.
"When I look at a Manchester United team, famous on the men’s side, it’s about that never-give-up attitude, and we’re going to keep going until the final whistle.
"Tonight we got a full Manchester United [spirit]. Our job is to bring the women under that same banner — we might go down but we’re never beaten.”
Russo was at the forefront of the celebrations following United's momentous victory in North London and she echoed the thoughts of her boss.
She said: "The whole second half was a bit of a whirlwind but we come to these games and we want to test ourselves against the top teams and, to come away with three points, we’re really happy.
"There was a moment when we’d just conceded and we all came together as a group and it was quite an honest conversation.
"We knew we wanted to win it and we knew we could and it was just that extra bit of motivation.
"We know where we want to go as a team but we also know what it’s going to take and moments like tonight show that we can get there."
Chelsea return to the top
Chelsea went three points clear at the top of the WSL with a comfortable 3-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday.
Although they have played a game more, Chelsea sent a message to their rivals after dismantling the North London side with three first-half goals.
Sam Kerr and Erin Cuthbert scored in front of a lively crowd at Stamford Bridge before Guro Reiten converted a penalty in the 36th minute to put the Blues in full control.
It marked a perfect return for manager Emma Hayes, who had been away from the dugout while she recovered from surgery.
Player of the Match Lauren James could not hide her delight at Hayes' return and was in a jubilant mood after the win.
She said: "It’s a great atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. We needed to get it started again coming back from an international break, and find some rhythm.
"We look forward to each game as it comes. I made the fans wait a long time last year and showed them what I can do."
On Hayes, she added: "It’s brilliant to have her back and healthy. We have brilliant staff who stood in for her."
City edge it on Merseyside
Manchester City saw off Everton 2-1 to record their fifth straight win in the WSL.
The Citizens went ahead courtesy of Julie Blakstad before Rikke Sevecke equalised five minutes before half-time.
But it was Khadija Shaw who sealed the victory for Gareth Taylor's side, who sit fourth in the table but six points off leaders Chelsea.
Liverpool mount Brighton comeback
Brighton and Liverpool played out a 3-3 thriller that saw the Reds rescue a point in the 92nd minute.
Matt Beard's women took an early lead but the Seagulls hit back within five minutes before taking the lead in the 26th minute.
Katie Robinson extended their lead on the South Coast before Shanice van de Sanden and Rachel Furness scored late on to ensure the points were shared on Sunday afternoon.
Hammers leave it late
West Ham claimed their fourth win of the season courtesy of an Isibeal Atkinson goal in their clash with Leicester on Sunday.
The Foxes remain rooted to the foot of the WSL having lost all eight of their top-flight matches this season and were unfortunate to not come away with a point in East London.
Willie Kirk's side managed 17 attempts in the game and controlled the ball but it was the same old story for the Midlands side, who continue to struggle despite the change in management.
Villa overcome rash Royals
Rachel Daly was the star in Aston Villa's 3-1 win over Reading and hit a hat-trick in what was a dominant performance from the Villans.
Daly scored a brace in the first half before adding a third from the spot with 15 minutes to go.
Lauren Wade initially gave the Royals the lead but Jacqueline Burns' dismissal made it too tough a task for manager Kelly Chambers and Co.
WSL Matchday 8 results in full
Everton 1-2 Manchester City
Arsenal 2-3 Manchester United
Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham
Aston Villa 3-1 Reading
Brighton 3-3 Liverpool
West Ham 1-0 Leicester