FA WSL Champions League race Matchday 7 Arsenal and City stay on top

Arsenal and Manchester City stayed in the top two places this week-end as Birmingham did not have a game. The  chasing pack are further behind and struggling to keep up the pace.

With Birmingham City having no game, Arsenal opened a five points gap on Blues to consolidate their Champions League and title credential while City’s home draw against Reading gave them a two points cushion over Blues. The League is clearly a three tier League and the chasing pack is already quite far from the front two with Chelsea already eight points behind Arsenal and five points behind City. Liverpool are one point behind Chelsea, while Reading and Bristol are now trailing Chelsea by two points.

Results

Man City 1 Reading 1

Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0

Bristol 0 Arsenal 4

 

Table

The three horses race for the Champions League places could turn into a two horses race next week-end as Arsenal will be at home to Birmingham. Manchester City will be away to Liverpool and will be looking to push the Reds further away from the Champions League race.

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The FA WSL relegation battle Matchday 7

Two big results at the bottom of the table on Matchday 7 with West Ham winning at Everton and Brighton beating Yeovil. It does clarify the positions in the relegation race.

 

Results

Everton 1 West Ham 2

Brighton 2 Yeovil 1

 

The results have turned a four horses race into a two horses race.  West Ham are very likely to be safe being seven points ahead of the relegation zone. Brighton have opened a four points lead on the relegation place and gave themselves serious breathing space.

Everton are still under threat are they are still winless this season, but have the benefit of two draws and a game in hand. Yeovil are yet to pick up a point and will need to get their first win soon, otherwise the other contenders might run away from them soon.

 

Table

8. West Ham 7 pts pl 6 -6

9. Brighton 4 pts pl 7 -10

10. Everton 2 pts pl 5 -6


11. Yeovil 0 pt pl6  -15

 

Next week-end will see another six pointer with Yeovil at home to Everton. A win would see the Glovers overtake their opponent on the day and abandon the relegation place. A Toffees win would open a huge gap that would be difficult to close for Yeovil.

Yeovil v Everton Sunday 3pm

Brighton –  bye

The FA Women’s Championship promotion race Matchday 7

Spurs have opened a five points lead on Manchester United and are now solid League leaders. Charlton are now level on points with United and Durham are just one point behind.

It turns out that the League is not as foregone conclusion as it was expected before the season started. Obviously the promotion race is wide open as there are many many teams worthy of a promotion place.  Remember promotion is only granted if a team has the infrastructure and cash in place for professional football.

Spurs pulling away from United with a five points lead is unexpected. Charlton have also performed very well and are level on points with United  after their dismantling of a young Millwall side. Durham also got three crucial points with their win away at London Bees. The chasing pack of Leicester and Lewes did not have a game last week-end and therefore lost ground on the top teams. Lewes with the bye and Leicester’s game postponed due to the tragic incident at the King Power stadium.

Results

Tottenham 2 Aston Villa 1

London Bees 0 Durham 1

Millwall 0 Charlton 8

Leicester – Man United P-P

 

Table

1 Spurs 18 pts pl 6 +16

2 Man United 13 pts pl 5 +23


3 Charlton 13 pts pl 6 +12

4 Durham 12 pts pl6 +5

5 Leicester 10 pts pl 6 +1

6 Lewes 9 pts pl 6 -1

 

Next Sunday will be an early title decider with Man United hosting Spurs with an expected record attendance crowd for the Championship. Both side are unbeaten with Spurs boasting an 100% record. United are favourite because they train full-time and they have strong attacking options. Spurs are also doing well on that count and United’s defense did not look to me as strong as their offense. I would expect both teams to score a couple of goals at least.

Durham will be at home to Lewes with both side hoping to capitalise on one of the top team  potentially dropping points. Charlton will hope to do the same as they will host a London Bees side depleted with a third of their squad out with injuries. Leicester will be away to Sheffield and you would expect a physical game with two strong sides.

 

The FA WSL Champions League race matchday 6 : Arsenal stay put, City comes into Champions League place

Arsenal are staying at the top, while City are catching up and are only one point behind the leaders and could even be top of the League by Friday.

Arsenal emphatically dismissed Reading with another huge and surprising scoreline following their triumph at Chelsea. The Gunners have hit the ground running this season.

Birmingham got an excellent point at home holders to Chelsea with Berger saving a Carney penalty. A picky referee would have given a penalty retake and a yellow card as per the new FIFA rules, but it would have been really harsh, even if correct by the rulebook.

Man City recorded a 6-0 win at Brighton to wrestle  the second place from Birmingham’s hand and could even go top by Friday evening as they will be at home to Reading who have just lost 6-0 to Arsenal.

It is clearly a three horses race for two places as Liverpool in fourth position following their 1-0 away win at West Ham are already four points behind Birmingham City.

Results

Arsenal  6 Reading 0

Brighton 0 Man City 6

Birmingham 0 Chelsea  0

 

 

Table

 

 

Matchday 7 could see Manchester City at the top of the table for the first time this season as they play the early game on Friday evening at home to Reading. Arsenal will be away to surprise team Bristol and it will be a tough game against solid defensive Bristol side led by goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley.  Birmingham have the day off.

The chasing pack of Liverpool, Bristol Reading and Chelsea will hope to see at least one of  the top two drop points to get a chance to close the gap a little bit.

 

The FA Women’s Championship promotion race matchday 6: all change at the top

Manchester United have been dethroned for the first time this season as the top spot has been taken over by Spurs who won 8-0 at home to Millwall.

Spurs Ladies took advantage of a non playing week for United to overtake the Red Devils. It is important to note that both sides have played five games so far and Spurs are ahead because they have performed better than United overall with five wins in five while United only have four wins and a draw.

There are four teams chasing the top two teams and still in for promotion. Charlton beat Sheffield 2-0 while Leicester could only managed a draw with Aston Villa. Those two teams are three points behind United and five points behind Spurs.

Durham beat Palace and get back into the chasing peloton while Lewes lost 3-2 at Bees and are level in points with the wildcats four points behind United.

Results

Spurs 8 Milwall 0

Charlton 2 Sheffield 0

Durham 2 Palace 0

London Bees 3 Lewes 2

 

Table

1 Tottenham 15 pts pl 5 +15

2 Manchester United 13 pts pl 5 + 23


3 Charlton 10 pts pl 5 +4

4 Leicester 10 pts pl 6 +1

5 Durham 9 pts pl 5 +4

6 Lewes 9 pts pl 6 -1

 

 

The FA WSL relegation battle Matchday 6 : status quo at the bottom of the table

Matchday 6 brought absolutely no change for the bottom four  as none of them recorded any point on the day. Everton had no game while Yeovil, West Ham and Brighton were beaten with Brighton suffering a goal difference disaster with a 6-0 defeat at home to title contender Man City.

Due to the 11 teams format this season, Everton was the team with a bye and did not lose any ground on the other relegation contenders. Definitely a positive week for them as they have multiple games on hand on other contenders.

Yeovil are still stuck with 0 point but were close to gain one in the West Country derby losing late to Bristol City 2-1.

West Ham are not in the relegation zone at the moment but could be sucked in if their form does not improve a bit as they are four points clear of the relegation which is a big gap but they need to get some points soon. Brighton had the worse result from the bottom four and it was no surprise as they had the hard task of playing a City team that needed to win to stay in touch with the runaway leaders Arsenal. The Seagulls 6-0 defeat push their goal difference close to Yeovil’s one.

Results

Yeovil 1 Bristol 2

Brighton 0 Man City 6

West Ham 0 LIverpool 1

 

Table

8 West Ham 4 pts pl 5 -7

9 Everton 2 pts pl 4 – 5

10 Brighton 1 pt pl 6 -11


11 Yeovil 0 pt pl 5 -14

 

Matchday 7 will be critical for the bottom four as they all play each other with Brighton at home to Yeovil and Everton at home to West Ham. Any winner in those two games will strike a huge psychological blow to their opponents

Serious injuries: in game and post game disciplinary management by the FA needs a quick overall and improvement.

Kim Little’s injury that leaves her out for at least 10 weeks is the third long term one in two match days in the FA WSL/FAWC. The referees performances are not good enough and the disciplinary process is clearly flawed with players are getting away scot-free after injuring their opponent.

First let’s look at the refereeing problem. The pattern is always the same in those games.

One and sometimes both teams are testing the referee by being very/over-physical if not brutal. The referee responds in typical fashion by showing leniency instead of strength by keeping his cards in his pockets.

Players then deduct they can do as they please and start getting more and more dangerous, taking no prisoners. Then one player gets hit and seriously injured. You can sometimes also add a bit of pushing shoving and mass brawling to that mess

The disciplinary side of the game then should come in but  sometimes it does not come in at all. Nothing is given, maybe a yellow card is produced  and if we are lucky a red card is shown.

Obviously, at that stage it is now too late, the damage is done. And in most cases it could have been prevented.

I watch enough women’s football games in England ( 50 per season at least) and there is a systemic problem here.

Referees don’t have the feel of the game enough to anticipate and being proactive to avoid those problems developing. It is always the same, they don’t stamp their authority early on and gradually lose control of the game. And then, it is way too late.

On Sunday, the Chelsea player had done enough stuff so many times to collect three yellow cards, before she finally injured Kim Little. An Arsenal player was also involved multiple times in pushing and shoving incident and got away with it.

The in-game management is flawed. The disciplinary decisions by the referees are not good either.

Three serious injuries resulted in one yellow card. If you look at the Laws of the games law number 12, it is quite clear what the referees decisions should be doing in those cases.

Note:  I have not seen the Galton injury, so can only comment on the other ones, but people at the game mentioned the injuring players repeatedly fouling during the game. She has long history of injuring players, for example an Arsenal player while in the FA WSL and a Reading player while in FA WSL2.

So the injuries that can be avoided are not prevented, the referees do not punish the players properly according to the Laws Of The Game.

You would then  hope the disciplinary committee would then do the right thing and suspend the players responsible for those injuries.

I mean the FA charges players all the time for many different types of incidents, but rarely for those ones. And indeed the two players responsible for the injuries in the Championship were not charged and started their next team’s game.

I don’t expect the Chelsea player to be charged either because she was ( wrongly imo as it was too lenient) booked during the game.

So what kind of message does the FA sends to the players and fans? Feel free to injure an opponent and you won’t be punished or barely slapped if you are unlucky.

We saw many similar cases in the men’s game, although you get the feeling that the media pressure forces the FA to take disciplinary action. And players sometimes end up with a three games ban but nothing more. Not good enough.

It is still a cheap price to pay if you have managed to put an opponent out for three months or the whole season. The only team penalized is those situations is the injured player’s team. The asset is not available, the opposition teams also benefit from it.

If you think about it, the FA WSL teams are better off playing Arsenal without Kim Little. Same for the Championship teams playing against Bees without Paula Howells.

So the disciplinary process need to be overhauled. The FA has videos of all the FA WSL/FA WC games and need to review them properly. Especially as the referees miss stuff during the game at nearly every game.

At the end of the day, it is a recurrent problem that must be tackled at every level by the referees and the FA because the players’ behaviour will not change as long as strong punishments are not given.