On a dramatic final day of the Women’s Super League season: Chelsea won the title, Sam Kerr clinched the Golden Boot and Bristol City were relegated.
GiveMeSport Women run through the five main talking points as the most exciting WSL season yet comes to a close.
Chelsea retain WSL title
Chelsea had the advantage going into the final game of the season, leading second-place Manchester City by two points.
Chelsea needed a victory to retain their title after City defeated West Ham 1-0. They ended up triumphing in style, thumping Reading 5-0. Melanie Leupolz, Sam Kerr and Erin Cuthbert all got on the scoresheet, while Fran Kirby grabbed two goals.
It was Chelsea’s 18th win of the season, which also included three draws and one loss. These results saw the team clinch its fourth WSL title – all four have come under manager Emma Hayes.
“This is the best squad I’ve had, it’s the best title in my time here,” Hayes told BT Sport. “I cannot wait for the Champions League final next weekend. We’re ready.”
Sam Kerr earns Golden Boot
It was not just the title race that went down to the wire. Australia’s Kerr and Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema were also battling it out for the Golden Boot accolade.
Kerr emerged triumphant from the contest, scoring her 21st goal of the season against Reading today. Miedema finished on 18 goals after she failed to get on the scoresheet for Arsenal, who ran out a 0-0 draw against Aston Villa.
The 27-year-old Kerr has previously been the top scorer in the NWSL in the United States and the W-League in Australia.
The Golden Glove award went to Chelsea’s Ann-Katrin Berger, who kept an impressive 12 clean sheets this season.
Bristol City are relegated
At the other end of the table, Bristol City were relegated to the Women’s Championship. The Vixens faced a battle against the odds for survival, needing a victory against Brighton and for other results to go their way.
Bristol were unable to show the stubbornness they have become synonymous with this season, losing 3-1 to Brighton to finish bottom with 12 points.
Relegation rivals Birmingham City were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham Hotspur but survived on 14 points, while Aston Villa managed a draw against Arsenal to place 10th on 15 points.
Leicester City have been promoted from the Championship to replace Bristol City in the WSL.
Fara Williams retires
Reading’s game against Chelsea marked Fara Williams’s last match as a footballer. The Lionesses legend announced she would retire at the end of the season just two weeks ago.
The 37-year-old Williams began her club career with Chelsea, and was presented with a shirt with her name on and a bouquet of flowers by the team before today’s match. After Chelsea, Williams moved on to Charlton Athletic, before embarking on an eight-year stint at Everton. This included an FA Cup title in 2010.
Williams moved across Merseyside in 2012, claiming back-to-back Women's Super League titles with Liverpool in 2013 and 2014. Another FA Cup win came with Arsenal in 2016, before Williams left the North London club for Reading in 2017.
Not just a star in the domestic league, Williams is England's highest capped player, male or female, with 172 appearances for the Lionesses. She was also part of the Team GB squad that competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Joe Montemurro’s final game with Arsenal
It was not just Williams waving goodbye to the WSL. Joe Montemurro also managed his last league game with Arsenal, having announced in March he would leave the club.
His last WSL match was unfortunately an uninspiring 0-0 draw with Aston Villa, but Montemurro still has a chance to leave with his head held high. He will manage Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round against Crystal Palace this weekend.
Montemurro joined the club in November 2017, leading the Gunners to a WSL title in 2019, four cup finals, and a Champions League quarter-final.
Arsenal finished third this season, ensuring a place in the Champions League next season. The club have not yet announced Montemurro’s successor.News Now - Sport News