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Women's Football News
Vitality Women's FA Cup commitments meant that there were no matches played in either the Barclays FA WSL or the FA Women's Championship over the weekend, but two matches have been played in the WSL in midweek, both of which were set to produce significant results at either end of the table.
First of all, on Tuesday night, there was a huge clash in the battle to avoid relegation with West Ham Utd playing host to Aston Villa.
The Hammers made a fast start with Katerina Svitkova's effort going just over the bar and Gilly Flaherty heading narrowly wide, but these were scarce opportunities with both sides looking to keep things tight at the back.
After the break, West Ham almost took the lead but Villa goalkeeper Lisa Weiss pulled off a superb save frrom Svitkova's 20-yard strike, and Weiss also saved well from Cecilie Redisch. Villa dug in and defended in determined fashion and are likely to be the more satisfied team of the two as the match finished goalless. Villa therefore move off the bottom of the table but matters continue to be tight with just two points now covering the bottom four teams.
The following night saw the biggest match of the season so far with leaders Chelsea taking on second placed Manchester City in their top of the table clash which fully lived up to its billing.
Both sides exchanged chances during the opening stages but on 25 minutes, it was Chelsea who took the lead. Erin Cuthbert floated a corner on the right into the area and Sam Kerr rose highest, powering home a header inside the near post for her eighteenth league goal of the season.
Chelsea's lead was to last for just three minutes though, Lauren Hemp being released down the left and her low cross by swept home by Chloe Kelly from four yards out.
This time it was Chelsea's turn to respond to a setback and they were to strike a blow of their own. Following a run from the halfway line, Kerr was brought down by Ellie Roebuck in the area and a penalty was awarded, Pernille Harder stepping up to send Roebuck the wrong way from the spot and Chelsea were back in front again.
After the break, Kerr was unable to take a good opportunity to increase Chelsea's lead when she shot wide but City began to step up the pressure as the half wore on. With fifteen minutes, they got the break they needed as Fran Kirby's loose pass was seized on by Kelly whose low centre was miscued by Millie Bright and Hemp pounced on the loose ball to slot home.
It could have got even better for Hemp as she glanced a header goalwards from a corner, only for Ann-Katrin Berger to pull off a stunning save, tipping the ball onto the bar.
Both sides tried to find a way to conjure up a winner but had to settle for a 2-2 draw at the final whistle, leaving Chelsea still in the driving seat with two matches left to play.
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