England FA WSL/FA Cup Update: The Race Is On!

Quick note: Having talked for a long time about different news about the women’s game, I realized I left behind an important part to cover in this blog: The actual games. That’s why I gathered here all the results and upcoming matches to come. Let’s get started!

In England’s FA WSL, Arsenal has made a bright start to the 2020/21 season with three resounding wins. On September 6, the Gunners defeated Reading 6-1 at home to open the season and then crossed the city to face West Ham United, delivering a punishing 9-1 verdict in a London derby. Their two Dutch internationals, Jill Roord (3) and Vivianne Miedema (2), combined for 5 goals against Reading. And then, this weekend, Arsenal did it again, winning 3-1 against Bristol City.

On the other side, Everton was also having a perfect start in the league, opening with a 4-0 win away over Bristol City on September 6, then, defeating Tottenham Hotspurs at home 2-0 on September 13, and, at last, 6-0 to Aston Villa at Bescot Stadium. An interesting fact: In the Bristol City win, Scottish international Lucy Graham scored twice against her former side as she left Bristol to join Everton ahead of the 2019/20 season. Having played 3 games already, both – Everton and Arsenal – lead the race for the WSL title with 9 points.

Friendly: Arsenal v Aston Villa Women - Gallery | News | Arsenal.com
Arsenal are the current leaders of the FA WSL, having won 3 games out of 3, 18 goals in favour, 3 conceded, and a difference of 15 goals so far.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are also all undefeated in the FA WSL with 7 points after three games (2 wins, 1 tie).

Meanwhile, in the 2019/20 FA Cup Quarterfinals (resuming after the 5th round was played in February and then was suspended when sports in the country were shut down because of COVID-19), Arsenal defeated Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 in the London Derby on September 26. The game was scoreless until the 72nd minute when English international midfielder Jordan Nobbs intercepted a pass deep in the Spurs end and scored. Then Scottish international Lisa Evans scored three times in succession within the final 23 minutes of the game to send the Gunners onto the semi-finals.

In the other three quarterfinal matches, Everton hosted Chelsea and upset the WSL 2019/20 title holders as the Toffees won 2-1. Brighton hosted Birmingham City and after a 2-2 deadlock, Birmingham City advanced on penalty kicks (4-2). Finally, Championship League side Leicester City narrowly fell to Super League power and 2018-19 FA Cup winners Manchester City (2-1).

Women's FA Cup Quarter-Final Round-Up: Chelsea bow out after Everton  'cupset' – The Offside Rule
At Goodison Park, Everton and French international forward Valérie Gauvin, who joined from Montpellier in the summer, scored the winner as Everton recovered from Erin Cuthbert’s early goal for Chelsea, with their first coming from a Lucy Graham header.

To end things, in the semi-final round, Everton defeated Birmingham City 3-0 on September 30 and advanced to the FA Cup final; their 5th time in the history of the club, but the first time ever at Wembley Stadium.

On October 1, Manchester City defeated Arsenal 2-1 in a game that was very much dominated through possession and attacking play by City. Arsenal was missing Jill Roord and Lisa Evans through injury and had very few attacking options from the bench to deploy. English international captain Steph Houghton open the scoring with a brilliant free kick goal from outside the box, then English international Jordan Nobbs, who played only one game at the 2015 Women’s World Cup and missed last summer’s event through injury, tied up the game with a long range blast for the Gunners. American international Sam Mewis scored the ultimate winner just minutes later.

Now, we’ll have to wait until November 1 to see how Manchester City faces Everton in the 2019/20 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

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