WSL Matchday 7 round-up: Hayes hails James as best in the country
Emma Hayes heaped praise on Lauren James after the Chelsea winger netted her first Women's Super League hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday.
The Blues had little time to prepare for the clash at Stamford Bridge following their Champions League tie at Real Madrid on Wednesday but it was business as usual for the champions.
Three goals from James alongside strikes by Aggie Beever-Jones and Sjoeke Nusken ensured the league leaders remained at the top of the table ahead of Arsenal.
A delighted Hayes, 47, said: "Lauren knows what I think of her. She's a young player still and we always want everything from young players but she showed the best of herself. She was unstoppable.
"She's the most naturally gifted footballer in the country. She does things with very little back-lift. Lauren is a really, really intelligent footballer. Forget the technical bit, she's really intelligent."
The praise was recieved well by James, who returned the compliment from her boss, who will be taking the reins of the United States women's team at the end of the season.
She added: "With the news of Emma leaving, I think everything I do this year is thankful to her.
"She was saying how proud she is of me and I've had a difficult last week with the news and everything."
Neville's rallying call
Tottenham defender Ashleigh Neville called on her team-mates to recapture their best form after being held to a third consecutive draw at Leicester.
Spurs started the season well, winning four of their opening five matches in all competitions but Robert Vilahamn's Lilywhites have failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 WSL outings — a run stretching back to last March.
Janice Cayman put the hosts in the driving seat at the King Power Stadium on Sunday before Celin Bizet Ildhusoy netted for the second time in as many matches to earn the North Londoners a point.
Speaking to SPURSPLAY, Neville said: "First half, we know we were not good enough. We spoke about it at half-time and it's not really the Tottenham side that people are used to seeing.
"But I think in the second half the girls came out and showed everything. We were unlucky not to get the second goal, I think the keeper was amazing for them and kept them in it but now it's back to the drawing board.
"We have conceded in every game and we want that clean sheet but haven't got one yet. We need to be more disciplined and switched on in games.
"Robert has come in and been so positive and it's a nice atmosphere to be around. We can be disappointed not to take all three points but we move on."
Lauren Smith believes her Bristol City side are still learning after picking up a point against Everton on Sunday.
The Robins came from behind twice to salvage a 2-2 draw courtesy of Amalie Thestrup's late strike.
And Smith believes the players are doing all the right things and will soon build on their only win of the season.
Speaking to Robins TV, she said: "They are the things that you take for granted sometimes. If you don't have a team with character and belief and confidence as well, then you can really have problems but that has never come into this group at all.
"I think people ask that because we are at the bottom and it is an obvious thing but it has not come into us, it is not a conversation we have.
"It is very much the start of the season, we are building and learning and it comes out with points."
A win for Smith's team against Manchester United could see them climb off the bottom of the WSL table but they face no easy task when hosting Marc Skinner's Red Devils next Sunday.
WSL Matchday 7 results in full
Chelsea 5-1 Liverpool
Everton 2-2 Bristol City
Brighton 0-3 Arsenal
West Ham 2-3 Aston Villa
Leicester 1-1 Tottenham
Manchester United 1-3 Manchester City