23 October 2022

Nikita Parris keeps Manchester United level with Arsenal in tight WSL title race

23 October 2022

Nikita Parris’ deft header ensured Manchester United remain locked together with Arsenal at the top of the Women’s Super League.

The 28-year-old glanced home Katie Zelem’s first-half free-kick to secure a 1-0 victory at lowly Leicester, although England international team-mate Mary Earps had to make two important second-half interventions to deny the hosts a way back into the game at the King Power Stadium.

United, however, sit in second place in the table by virtue of alphabetical order with they and the Gunners boasting identical records of 12 points, 11 goals for and none against after four games.

Jonas Eidevall’s side had Lia Walti and Frida Maanum to thank for their 2-0 win over Liverpool at Prenton Park.

Walti volleyed the visitors into a 15th-minute lead and her side led 2-0 at the break through Maanum’s solo strike and a record-extending 10th successive clean sheet meant there was no way back for the Reds.

Chelsea had to work hard to keep pace with the top two, whom they trail only on goal difference having played a game more after a 2-0 win at Brighton.

The much-changed champions endured a frustrating evening for long periods after seeing first-half penalty appeals for Victoria Williams’ challenge on Jessie Fleming waved away and Beth England’s 47th-minute strike ruled out for offside with Seagulls keeper Megan Walsh standing firm.

They finally got their noses in front when England tapped home after Niamh Charles’ 58th-minute shot had hit the underside of the crossbar, and substitute Pernille Harder made sure of the points with a second four minutes from time.

Striker Viviane Asseyi’s first-half double set West Ham on their way to a 3-2 home victory over Reading.

Iceland international Dagny Brynjarsdottir headed the home side into a fourth-minute lead before Asseyi struck after 22 and then 29 minutes to give her side a commanding half-time advantage.

Charlie Wellings pulled one back for the visitors with 15 minutes remaining and their faint hopes received a further boost when substitute Sanne Troelsgaard converted an 82nd-minute penalty following Kate Longhurst’s foul on Rachel Rowe, although it all proved to no avail.

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