WSL round-up: United go top as City climb above Arsenal
Manchester United returned to the top of the Women’s Super League table after beating Tottenham 2-1 despite Ella Toone’s red card.
Leah Galton gave the Red Devils a deserved lead before Spurs hit back through Bethany England’s excellent solo effort at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But it took just 14 seconds for Marc Skinner’s side to go back in front after defender Molly Bartrip diverted Lucia Garcia’s cross into the net in the 76th minute.
A nervy finish was set up when Lioness Toone was given her marching orders with 10 minutes to play after raising her hands at Eveliina Summanen following a coming together between the pair.
After holding on for the victory, United have bolstered their title hopes by going a point clear of Chelsea having played a game more.
Manager Skinner, 39, said: "To come back in this nature once we conceded, which was not good enough from us, it shows true character. The players were trying to fix the frustration before half-time.
"Leah [Galton] is deadly. It's a great finish, she finds the only gap. We deserved it, I felt that. If you want extra forwards in attacks you must ask full-backs to provide the width — we have two of the best full-backs in doing that.
"There is pressure, being a manager or a player of Manchester United means pressure. But we are title contenders.
"I am not coaching robots, I'm coaching players that are organic and who will learn.
"When the big pressure moments come they know they can rely on me to take them and they can just do their jobs."
On Toone’s dismissal, he added: "We want our players to show passion, commitment and energy.
"Look, it's play-acting in my opinion. That's not hurt her [Summanen]. I want to see that from her [Toone]. I want to see passion in our players.
"For me, it's something we'll work on internally because we have to be accountable but you need a bit of help from other players also. I will appeal the red card, yes."
City punish Arsenal
Manchester City deservedly beat Arsenal 2-1 to move above the Gunners and into the WSL title race.
First-half goals from Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly did the damage in a disappointing first-half from Jonas Eidevall’s outfit, with a number of saves from goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger preventing City’s lead at the break from being more.
Rafaelle Souza’s header halved the deficit but they never threatened to equalise the Citizens secured a statement win which took them within three points of United at the top.
Taylor said: "I was so proud of the performance and how gutsy we were in the second half.
"We should've been out of sight at half-time, we could've been five or six up with the chances we created.
"I'm super proud of the girls, they really deserved that.
"Sometimes you feel miles away [in the table] and sometimes you feel a bit closer. After beating Leicester there was a big shift, especially with two teams [Manchester United and Arsenal] drawing.
"We've got ourselves into a good position, but we're not getting carried away."
Fourth-placed Arsenal are now six points adrift of top spot and Eidevall took responsibility for their potentially damaging afternoon.
The Swedish boss said: "It is 100% my responsibility that we do not win today so I take that and that's why I need to look at the game.
"We tried to implement changes during the game as well but it is 100% my responsibility.
"The effort is there, the players worked very hard, they tried their very best. Today we didn't win and that's my responsibility and I look and see how we can do it better."
Villa put six past Brighton
On-loan Gunners midfielder Jordan Nobbs hit a stunning hat-trick as Aston Villa moved up to fifth in the table with a 6-2 win over relegation-threatened Brighton.
The pair played out a 1-1 draw last week but were the far superior side at Broadfield Stadium this time around.
Lucy Staniforth and Kirsty Hanson put Carla Ward’s side ahead following Julia Olme’s early strike before Nobbs scored either side of a Rachel Daly finish to make it 5-1 at half-time.
Danielle Carter reduced the deficit from the spot before Villa’s No88 sensationally collected the match ball with a long-range effort into the top right corner.
WSL results in full
Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal
Tottenham 1-2 Manchester United
Brighton 2-6 Aston Villa
Liverpool 0-1 Leicester