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Winners & Losers

Merseyside is blue! Winners & losers from the Women's Super League as Everton silence Anfield

3:05 PM WAT 26/09/2022
Women's Super League composite
It was a weekend of rivalries as Arsenal hosted Spurs while Chelsea got one over Manchester City in a fixture that's often decided titles.

What better way to kick off a weekend of Women's Super League action than with a record-breaking attendance at the north London derby.

Arsenal defeated Tottenham in front of more than 47,000 people at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon, with the hosts' 4-0 victory setting the tone for a thrilling set of fixtures that saw a number of other rivals go head to head.

Indeed, there were goals and talking points aplenty as Anfield was stunned in the Merseyside derby and Chelsea bounced back from a loss to newly-promoted Liverpool with a win over old foes Manchester City.

So, who were this week's winners and losers? GOAL takes a look below...

  • Maya Le Tissier Manchester United Women 2022-23

    Winner: Maya Le Tissier

    Could this week be the week that Maya Le Tissier gets her first senior England call-up?

    On Tuesday, Sarina Wiegman will announce her Lionesses squad – to take on the U.S. women's national team and Czech Republic in October – but even if the Manchester United defender isn't in it, it won't be long until she is.

    After signing from Brighton this past summer, the 20-year-old, who ranked at No.7 in GOAL's 2021 NXGN list, has started life in the north west in sublime form.

    On Sunday, she was part of a United team that kept another clean sheet, but it's not just her defending that has stood out. After two rounds, nobody in the league has completed more passes than Le Tissier, who racked up a fine assist for Lucia Garcia in the weekend's 2-0 win at West Ham.

    She's composed, excellent on the ball and wise beyond her years already – and time is well on her side.

  • Steph Houghton Manchester City Women 2022-23

    Loser: Steph Houghton

    Steph Houghton had a tough summer.

    The long-time England captain wasn't included in Wiegman's squad for the Euros that would end in the Lionesses' first ever major tournament triumph, with her "just not ready to compete" in the coach's eyes after being sidelined with an Achilles injury from January until the end of the season.

    Now, she faces a real battle to get back into the national team picture. With Wiegman in the stands as City visited Chelsea, it was a great opportunity for Houghton to show what she could do. However, while City played a lot better this time out compared to last week's defeat to Aston Villa, they still suffered a 2-0 defeat.

    Houghton didn't play badly overall, but there were two moments in particular from the defender that were hard to ignore: an under-hit back-pass that led to a great chance for Sam Kerr, and poor defending for the Blues' first goal.

    There is a lot of football for the 34-year-old to play before next summer's World Cup and a lot of chances for her to show her quality – quality that made her one of the league's best centre-backs the season before that injury lay-off.

    However, with players like Le Tissier also knocking on the door for England, getting back into that squad is going to become an increasingly tricky task.

  • Caitlin Foord Arsenal Women 2022-23

    Winner: Caitlin Foord

    Caitlin Foord is a player who does not get her dues.

    On Saturday, Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall picked the Australian to lead the line of his attack in the north London derby and she was absolutely superb – arguably the best player on the pitch.

    Her movement both in and out of possession is intelligent, her technical ability is wonderful and her creativity comes in such great variety, too.

    Foord has two assists in two games so far in this WSL season and had a huge impact off the bench in the draw with Ajax in last week's Champions League game, as Arsenal turned things around after a poor start.

    Any team will always be better with a player like her in it – and that was certainly showcased on Saturday.

  • Kelly Chambers Reading Women 2022-23

    Loser: Kelly Chambers

    It's two defeats in two weeks for Kelly Chambers' Reading, the only team in the WSL not connected to a Premier League club, and the coach had plenty of reasons to feel aggrieved about their latest loss.

    Deanna Cooper headed the Royals in front against Brighton, but the assistant raised her flag for offside despite the goal-scorer being several yards on.

    Given Chambers had also been frustrated with the officiating in the opening-weekend loss to United, so it was hardly surprising that she didn't hold back in her post-match interview.

    “We’re disappointed to not come away with anything today as I think the referees have cost us the game," Chambers said after the 2-0 defeat to Brighton. "If this is not addressed, it’s going to start costing managers jobs."

    Sadly, just two weeks into the season, officiating is under the microscope again in a league where referees are not full-time and there is no VAR.

  • Everton Women 2022-23

    Winner: Everton

    Not many Evertonians have seen their team win at Anfield. After all, when the men's team did so last year, it was for the first time since 1999.

    On the women's side, though, it's now two wins in two at Liverpool's iconic stadium after Brian Sorensen's team beat the Reds by an impressive 3-0 scoreline on Sunday – following up the victory they recorded last time they were both in the WSL, back in 2019.

    Quite a lot of intrigue built up around the Toffees over the summer with the appointment of a new coach and some shrewd transfer business.

    They didn't start their campaign in the way some may have expected, losing 1-0 at West Ham last week. But with a triumph in the Merseyside derby – after their rivals had just beaten the reigning champions, Chelsea – their season is certainly up and running down now, with three points on the board and bragging rights in the bag.

  • Leicester City Women 2022-23

    Loser: Leicester

    It's only two games into the season but things do not look good for Leicester.

    The Foxes finished second-from-bottom last season, spared relegation by the fact only one team in the WSL is demoted each year.

    After some improvements following the change of coach in November, as they replaced Jonathan Morgan with Lydia Bedford, they ended the season without a win in eight – only one of those results a draw.

    The summer's transfer business meant they were the club most were concerned for in their pre-season predictions and their start to the season has only supported those ideas.

    Without a competitive win since February, and just three goals scored in that time, they need to get out of this rut quickly if they want to stay in the top flight.