Arsenal have confirmed that Victoria Pelova has sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury while on international duty with the Netherlands. 

The 25-year-old, who scored two goals and provided seven assists during the 2023–24 Women's Super League campaign for the Gunners, is expected to undergo surgery in the coming days, but it is not the first time an Arsenal player has suffered an injury of this nature. 

England pair Beth Mead and Leah Williamson were forced to miss the 2023 Women's World Cup, with Pelova's compatriot Vivianne Miedema also missing out on the tournament in Australia because of the same issue. 

In a statement, Arsenal said: "Victoria was substituted after her knee extended in the 12th minute of the Netherlands' UEFA Women's Championship qualifier in Tampere, Finland, and subsequently underwent testing to determine the extent of the injury.

"She will undergo surgery in due course and will be sidelined for an extended period."

Pelova was one of the Gunners' most influential players during their third-place finish in the WSL, creating 30 chances from her 22 appearances, the third-highest in the squad behind Mead and Katie McCabe, as Arsenal finished third, while also winning the Women's League Cup. 

ACL injuries have become a major problem for the women’s game and in April a new three-year project researching them was launched.

Leah Williamson has put pen to paper on a new deal at Arsenal, extending her 19-year stay with the Gunners.

The England defender, who was eight years old when she had her first trial at the club, has agreed fresh terms with the Women's Super League side.

Williamson returned to action in February following a lengthy lay-off with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which forced her to miss the Lionesses' run to the 2023 Women's World Cup final.

The 27-year-old, who skippered England to Euro 2022 glory, has made 232 appearances for Arsenal, winning the Women's Super League as well as the FA Cup and League Cup on two occasions.

"Everyone knows what Arsenal means to me, but I think every time I sign a new contract, I feel that love ignite all over again," she told the club's official website.

"I'm very happy to be staying. This is a place where I can still continue to grow, develop and be challenged. As a group, we're all very focused on bringing more silverware to this club and I can't wait to get started again when the new season comes around."

"Leah is an essential part of our team, so we're delighted she has signed a new contract with us," Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall added. "She brings us so much on and off the pitch - leadership, accountability and commitment.

"Leah has a special bond with Arsenal, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work together to bring more success to this great club."

Clare Wheatley, the club's director of women's football, said: "Leah's connection with Arsenal runs so deep. I can remember her as a girl in our academy many years ago, and I'm so proud of the determined, passionate woman she has become.

"We're thrilled that Leah has signed a new deal here, and I know our supporters will join me in congratulating her today."

The 2023-24 season was one of the best to date for the Women's Super League since its inception.

The drama of the title race going down to the final day; all three domestic trophies being won by different sides and record attendances across the league - fans have been filling stadiums and proving women’s football has an exciting future.

Chelsea went into the season as defending champions of the WSL and FA Cup, and looking to make history by securing a fifth consecutive league title. Emma Hayes and her team have dominated over the last ten years and this season looked set to be no different. 

The Blues got there in the end, but it wasn't easy...

The Hayes dynasty and the end of an era

A shock reverberated around the women's game in November when Hayes announced that, after 11 years in charge, she would be leaving Chelsea to join the US Women’s National Team as coach.

Hayes is the most decorated manager in Chelsea's history, and transformed them into serial winners domestically. She departs the WSL as the manager with the most games (212), most wins (151) and the fourth-best win rate (71.2 per cent - minimum 50 games managed).

Her legacy will be more than just the 16 trophies she won, including the WSL title this term.

The growth of women's football during Hayers' tenure has been meteoric, and she could have only dreamed of the farewell she received as, at one of England’s most iconic football stadia in Old Trafford, Chelsea thrashed Manchester United 6-0 to seal their fifth straight WSL crown.

Millie Bright, Chelsea's captain, had labelled the team as "mentality monsters", and that was certainly a fitting tag, as the champions scored four first-half goals to dash any lingering hopes Man City had of winning the title.

Hayes' final triumph came despite star striker Sam Kerr suffering an ACL injury in January, though Colombia forward Mayra Ramirez arrived from Levante for a British record transfer fee of £384,000 plus a further £42,000 in potential add-ons.

Ramirez proved her worth, grabbing two goals in a first half in which she was unplayable and a delight to watch. Fran Kirby, meanwhile, came on to score on her final WSL appearance for Chelsea, and leaves the Blues as their all-time leading goal scorer (63) and assister (33) in the competition.

City only managed a 2-1 win away to Aston Villa, meaning the WSL title was settled on goal difference for just the second time after Liverpool finished ahead of Chelsea in the 2014 season, with the Blues goal difference of +53 this campaign the fourth best in the competition’s history.

The champions also scored the most goals by a team in a single WSL season (71).

Hayes reflected on her special time at the club in her first interview as the USWNT boss.

Speaking to the USWNT media channel, she said: "I am proud of the fact that I could leave that club in a better place and one that I hope continues to compete. But for me, the challenge of competing for World Cups, for the Olympics, and the dream of coaching a team that I have always wanted to get the opportunity to do. I simply couldn't turn it down."

So close, yet so far, for City

City once again came so close to bursting Chelsea’s bubble and spoiling Hayes’ party. However, after it being in their own hands, a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the penultimate match gave the advantage back to Chelsea.

Gareth Taylor's team City became the first team in WSL history to win 10 away games in a single season, with their only failure to win on the road coming at Arsenal in November.

City missed plenty of chances in that game, and their bad luck in front of goal correlated with the injury to Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw against West Ham.

Shaw missed the final three league games, having become the first player in WSL history to record a goal or assist in 10 consecutive appearances (15 goals, one assist).

The Jamaican was prolific for City, scoring 21 times in 18 appearances, securing the Golden Boot award. Shaw was also named Football Writers Award Footballer of the Year and the WSL Player of the Year. She even became the second-quickest player to score 50 WSL goals, behind only Vivianne Miedema. Kerr is the only other player to have netted 20+ goals in back-to-back seasons, meanwhile.

Yet City still fell short of what would have been their first title since 2016. They have now been runners-up six times (five times to Chelsea), four more than any other side. 

Glory glory Man Utd

Despite the end-of-season drubbing for United, the previous weekend had seen Marc Skinner and his side create history of their own, this time in the FA Cup. For the first time in 11 years, the trophy was not lifted by Arsenal, Chelsea or Man City, proving the true development around the league.

United were featuring in the FA Cup final for the second consecutive year, having not reached this stage before 2023, and headed into the tie against Tottenham as favourites. They lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the 2022-23 final and did not want history to repeat itself.

They duly banished last year's demons in front of a packed Wembley, with an emphatic 4-0 win.

Ella Toone's eye-catching strike in the first half set the tone before a goal for Rachel Williams and Lucia Garcia's double added gloss to a convincing scoreline, despite Beth England hitting the crossbar for Spurs.

United became the 18th different winner of the women’s FA Cup. 

Gunners have their say

Arsenal pushed Man City and Chelsea all the way this season and although in the remaining few weeks they struggled to keep pace, they did have their say on both their rivals’ seasons endings.

The title race was effectively lost for Man City after they lost 2-1 in the dying minutes of their clash with Arsenal.

Similarly, the Gunners also got the better of Chelsea with a last-minute winner in the League Cup final, with Arsenal having won that trophy in successive seasons.

Striker Stina Blackstenius scored on both occasions, netting three important goals to secure silverware for Arsenal, frustrating Chelsea and ultimately ensuring City went empty-handed for another season. The Swede has 43 goals in 83 appearances for the Gunners and these big moments helped secure her a new contract.

So long, but maybe not farewell

The WSL has had some legends grace it over the years. World Cup winners and European champions have rocked up in the competition and it has become arguably one of the most sought-after leagues to play in.

But Hayes' was not the only shock departure.

Arsenal striker and the WSL's all-time leading goalscorer Miedema announced she would be leaving the Gunners at the end of her contract on a free transfer. With 125 goals and 50 assists for the Gunners over a seven-year period, the Dutch European Championship winner is bowing out a legend.

She has been out for most of the season, recovering from an ACL injury, but it's a shock to see such a talent allowed to leave. 

Many clubs in the WSL and around the world will relish the chance to have Miedema, who is only 27, pull on their shirt next season.

This season has been one of fond farewells, great goals, and record attendances. Next season promises to be continue the trend.

The accolades of Jamaica and Manchester City striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw continue to mount, as she was voted the 2023/24 Barclays Women’s Super League (WSL) Player of the Season, on Friday.

This announcement came on the heels of Thursday’s Football Writers’ Association (FWA) awards gala, where Shaw was officially presented with the FWA Women Footballer of the Year trophy, alongside fellow Manchester City star Phil Foden.

To say these individual acclaims are very much deserving would be an understatement given her exploits this season, as she has been a key figure in City’s push for the WSL title.

The 27-year-old, whose season was cut short due to a broken leg, has registered 21 goals in just 18 appearances, while also providing three assists. She’s on course for another prestigious honour of finishing as the league’s top scorer, having incredibly averaged a goal every 66 minutes this season.

And it is just rewards for another phenomenal campaign in which she once again broke new ground in Gareth Taylor’s side.

Shaw is the first player to score three WSL hat-tricks in a calendar year, last year, and between November 2023 and January 2024, the forward again registered three trebles in just four matches.

Finding the net in both WSL Manchester derbies, the Jamaican’s clinical finish at the Etihad Stadium in March also saw her become City’s record goalscorer, as she swept past Georgia Stanway in the process.

Another crucial strike from Shaw came in City’s 1-0 win over Chelsea in February, as they secured the honour of being the first away side to take three points off the reigning champions at Kingsmeadow, in over three years.

In securing the Player of the Season title, the prolific Jamaican fought off the sizeable challenge of City teammate Khiara Keating, who won the Golden Glove, as well as Chelsea duo Lauren James and Niamh Charles. Arsenal’s Lotte Wubben-Moy, Tottenham Hotspurs youngster Grace Clinton, Leicester’s Jutta Rantala, and Brighton’s forward Elisabeth Terland, were also in the mix.

Arsenal's decision to let Vivianne Miedema leave the club has been described as "shocking" and "outrageous" by former Gunners striker Ellen White.

On Monday, Arsenal announced Miedema – the all-time record scorer in the Women's Super League with 79 goals in the competition – will depart when her contract expires at the end of the campaign. 

Miedema helped Arsenal win the WSL title in 2018-19 and clinched the competition's Golden Boot in back-to-back seasons in 2018-19 and 2019-20. In all competitions, she has scored 125 goals and added 50 assists in 172 appearances for the Gunners since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2017.

She has played just 13 games in 2023-24, however, having undergone knee surgery in March. That came after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury suffered in December 2022 sidelined her for 10 months.

Manchester City have been linked with a move for the Netherlands star, and White believes Arsenal will regret letting her go.

"I think it's an absolutely shocking decision by the club, to be honest," White told BBC Radio 5 Live's Women's Football Weekly.

"I just think it's shocking that they haven't shown her the love to want to keep her at the club.

"If she does want to go to someone else in the WSL, I hope she goes to that team and sticks two fingers up at Arsenal and scores a few goals and celebrates hard. It's just outrageous. She is not going to be short of offers."

Arsenal will play most of their Women's Super League matches at the Emirates Stadium in the 2024-25 season.

The Emirates will be used as the Gunners' main ground, staging at least eight WSL matches and three Women's Champions League group games should they progress that far.

Jonas Eidevall's side will play the remainder of their games, including cup ties, at their long-standing home of Meadow Park.

Arsenal averaged an attendance of 52,029 - including two sell-outs and three WSL attendance records, across the six matches they played at the Emirates this term.

And the move has been championed by sporting director Edu.

"There's great passion for our women's team right across our club," he said. "We are one club, with a vision to win major trophies across our men's and women's teams.

"This move supports this ambition, and we can't wait to continue this amazing journey with our supporters."

Arsenal have announced that Women’s Super League all-time record goalscorer Vivianne Miedema will leave the club at the end of the season.

The 27-year-old signed for Arsenal in 2017 from Bayern Munich, scoring 125 goals and providing 50 assists in 172 appearances in all competitions.

She won the WSL title in 2018-19 and lifted three Conti Cups during her time with the Gunners.

Her tally of 79 goals is a league-high record, with the Netherlands international earning the Golden Boot in two consecutive seasons, also setting a league record for the most goals scored in a single season with 22.

In a video posted on Instagram, Miedema said: "After seven special years, it’s time for my Arsenal journey to come to an end.

"To have represented a club like this, with so much history and tradition, has been an absolute honour.

"So, above all else, I would like to say thank you for making this chapter of my life so memorable."

Miedema struggled with injuries during her last two seasons at Arsenal, suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in December 2022 that kept her out for 10 months before having to undergo knee surgery in March, limiting her to 13 appearances this season.

Reports suggest that Manchester City are favourites to sign the striker on a free transfer when her contract expires at the end of the season. 

Despite having her impressive run of form cut short due to injury, Jamaica International and Manchester City striker Khadija Shaw did enough prior to the season-ending surgery, and so it comes as no surprise that she is up for the coveted Barclays Women's Super League Player of the Season award.

Shaw, who recently copped the Football Writers' Association (FWA) Women's Footballer of the Year award, is no stranger to accolades, as she was named 2022-23 Player of the Season for Manchester City, and also pocketed a couple Player of the Month prizes since joining the club in 2021.

In fact, it is Shaw's impressive goalscoring exploit that not only propelled her to being the club's all-time leading striker, but also places City at the summit of the WSL standing, heading into their final assignment away to Aston Villa on Saturday May 18. However, their hope of clinching the title remains on edge, as they have played a game more than second-placed Chelsea.

Both Shaw and goalkeeper Khiara Keating, who has also been nominated for Barclays Women’s Super League Player of the Season award, have impressively helped Gareth Taylor’s side relentlessly pursue a second-ever league title with a string of outstanding displays.

Shaw, 27, has scored 22 goals across 25 appearances in all competitions this term – with 21 of those coming in the WSL. She recently became the Club’s all-time leading scorer with 68 goals – which she has since extended to 72 before a foot injury prematurely ended her season.

Meanwhile, Keating has performed beyond her years in the 19-year-old’s breakthrough campaign for Taylor’s team – playing every league minute in 2023/24.

The England youth international has been an integral part of the best defensive record in the division with City conceding only 14 league goals so far this term. What’s more, outstanding is that Keating has maintained nine WSL clean sheets which is the most so far across the competition.

Shaw's unmatched scoring ability, and Keating's shot stopping exploit resulted in both being placed on the short list for prestigious annual honour, alongside Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Grace Clinton (Spurs), Lauren James (Chelsea), Jutta Rantala (Leicester), Elisabeth Terland (Brighton) and Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal).

Arsenal handed Chelsea hope in the WSL title race as they came from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 thanks to Stina Blackstenius' late double.

Substitute Blackstenius scored in the 89th and 92nd minutes to snatch a memorable win for the Gunners and snap City's long winning run.

Gareth Taylor's side had won their last 14 WSL matches, dating back to a 1-0 loss to Brighton in November, which itself came on the back of another 2-1 defeat to Arsenal.

Lauren Hemp's 17th-minute opener set WSL leaders City, who were saying farewell to retiring captain Steph Houghton, on their way on Sunday, but despite mustering 1.3 xG in the first half, the hosts could not add to their lead.

Arsenal duly made them pay, with Blackstenius cropping up with the equaliser in the 89th minute.

And the comeback was complete three minutes later, Blackstenius proving Arsenal's hero as the Gunners frustrated City and moved into second place.

City, who face Aston Villa in their final match of the season next week, remain six points clear of Chelsea, with Emma Hayes' team still having three games remaining, including Sunday's fixture against relegated Bristol City.

Elsewhere, Liverpool overcame Manchester United 1-0 thanks to Jenna Clark's goal in first-half stoppage time.

Data Debrief: Arsenal never say die

City have scored in each of their last 15 games in the WSL, netting 49 goals in that run.

Yet Hemp's goal was not enough, and Jonas Eidevall's changes proved to be inspired as Kim Little teed up fellow substitute Blackstenius for the winner. The Gunners have now claimed 13 points from losing positions in the WSL this term, more than any other team.

Manchester City could become Women’s Super League champions for the first time since 2016 if they can overcome Arsenal on Sunday at the Joie Stadium. 

However, results would need to go their way for this to happen and Chelsea, who meet Bristol City in the late kick off, will have to lose or draw for City to be crowned champions this weekend.

Arsenal, who have already secured a Champions League qualification spot, will want to spoil City's party with a victory that would take a tight title race right to the final game of the season. 

The Gunners have been formidable this season against top opposition and they have won more points in games involving the top three teams in the WSL this season (6 points) than both Man City and Chelsea (4 points each).

Recent history between the two sides shows City will need to muster a performance worthy of champions to beat an Arsenal side who already have silverware to their name this season. Beating Chelsea in the League Cup in Emma Hayes’ last season is a feat they want to replicate against City. 

Arsenal have won their last two games against City in the WSL by a 2-1 scoreline and could become just the second team to win three in a row versus the Citizens in the competition after Chelsea, who did so between November 2021 and September 2022.

Gareth's Taylor's squad, however, shows no signs of letting up this season, with their consistency worthy of a championship-winning season. 

Man City have won 14 straight league matches this season, with last week's 4-0 win at Bristol City moving them a step closer to the title. Arsenal, meanwhile, have won four, drawn one and lost one in their last six. 

Hosts City have been almost flawless in front of their own fans this season with eight wins, one draw, and just one loss in 10 home Women's Super League contests.

City are hoping to extend a seven-match home winning streak dating back to November 2023, when an emphatic 7-0 win over Tottenham started this streak.

In league matches away from home this season, Arsenal have earned 17 points from 30 available (W5 D2 L3), so some would consider this the main reason they find themselves out of the title race at this stage. 

They have recorded just two clean sheets on the road this season, their worst such total in a single campaign since 2014 (also 2).

A Blue Wall for City 

A steadfast defence has made City almost impossible to beat, as they have not conceded more than once in any of their last 15 WSL games since a 2-1 away loss to Arsenal in November 2023. The last team to concede multiple goals in one or fewer matches across a single campaign were Chelsea in 2019-20 (once).

Khiara Keating has had a superb season in goal for City, keeping nine clean sheets in 20 appearances and conceding just 10 times.

Keating has faced 18.6 expected goals on target (xGOT), giving her a stunning goals prevented figure of 8.6 – she has kept out over eight more goals than would have been anticipated based on the quality of her shot-stopping – while she has a mightily impressive 81.8 save percentage.

In comparison, Arsenal’s goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger has struggled for form this term and conceded 16 goals from an xGOT of 14.9, giving her a goals prevented value of -1.1. Essentially, she has conceded one goal more than would have been anticipated based on the quality of chances she has faced.
 
Zinsberger has recorded five clean sheets, with a save percentage of 65.2 way down on the number of Keating – statistics that prove the importance of an elite goalkeeper if a team is to challenge for the title. 

Attack is the best form of defence and City, who knew goal difference could be the difference between themselves and Chelsea this season, have been ruthless in front of goal. 

However, they will have to see out the crucial last two games without the injured Khadija Shaw, who despite being ruled out for the rest of the season still looks nailed on to win the golden boot race with 21 goals for the season.

The Jamaican has greatly exceeded her 12.3 xG and has proven herself as one of the best strikers to play in the league's history.

Ones to Watch

Having scored four goals against Arsenal, Lauren Hemp has only netted more often in the competition versus Aston Villa and Everton (5 each); only two current WSL players have scored more times in the competition versus the Gunners: Toni Duggan (7) and Rachel Williams (6).

Behind Shaw, Hemp is City’s next top scorer, with nine goals from 19 games. Those goals have come from an xG of 5.1, proving Hemp’s finishing ability. Indeed, only Shaw (24) has more goal contributions for City this season than Hemp (16), who has also provided seven assists.

It is Chloe Kelly who leads the way for City when it comes to chances created, with 45 – six more than Hemp’s tally (39). 

Kelly has now recorded both five goals and five assists for the second WSL season running (5 + 5 in 2023-24, 5 + 9 in 2022-23); since her first season in the competition for Manchester City in 2020-21 the Englishwoman has recorded more WSL assists than any other player (28).

Arsenal's signing of Alessia Russo at the start of the season seems to have paid off in her goal return. Russo has netted on 10 occasions, including three match-opening goals. 

The attacker ranks fourth among the league's top scorers and has had 71 shots, more than any other player in Arsenal’s squad this season.

She has scored in each of her last three WSL appearances and, having never previously netted in four straight in the competition, now has the chance to set a personal record. The Arsenal forward has also now matched her goal return from last season at Manchester United by reaching double figures. 

Despite being injured at the start of the season, Beth Mead has had another excellent campaign, directly contributing to 11 goals (eight goals, three assists).

The Gunners midfield will be looking to dominate the game. Victoria Pelova, in her first full season for Arsenal, has been the heart of the midfield with Kim Little. When it comes to assists, Pelova leads the way for Arsenal with five, having created 26 goalscoring opportunities for her team-mates.
 
But all eyes will be on Manchester City, who have won each of their last 14 WSL games, the joint-longest winning streak in the competition’s history alongside Arsenal’s run of 14 victories between March and November 2022. 

Man City know a 15th win would not only break that record, but also put them on the brink of glory – they have the opportunity to become champions in their own hands and Taylor’s side are close to wrapping up a historic season. 

With relegation and the title race all still to play for, the weekend's Women's Super League did not disappoint fans in what turned out to be a drama-filled Sunday of football.

This has been a record-breaking season for the women's game in England.

For the first time ever between the Barclays WSL and the Barclays Championship, both leagues have achieved a cumulative attendance of over one million at fixtures this season.

Based on the twists and turns we have experienced over recent weeks, it is easy to see why fans are attending in increasing numbers.

Relegation Battle

Bristol City knew they would have a mammoth task in their race for survival when they welcomed Manchester City who, at the other end of the table, are pushing to win their first title since 2016.

West Ham, meanwhile, were travelling to Villa Park and knew even a point, assuming Bristol City were to lose, would mean safety for the Hammers.

It was a nervy start from both teams at Ashton Gate in front of the 8,749-strong crowd. City piled on the pressure in the first half with Lauren Hemp and Chole Kelly both having multiple chances to take the lead. The Citizens really looked as if they missed their star striker Khadija Bunny Shaw, who had been ruled out for the season earlier in the week.

The second half, however, saw Matildas star Mary Fowler manage to break the deadlock for the Citizens, with a moment of individual brilliance that City were so desperately needing.

Fowler then added a second shortly after and the floodgates were opened at Aston Gate, Bristol shipping a further two - with an own goal from Amy Rodgers and Alex Greenwood's header rounding off the win.

Bristol City, in their first season in the WSL, have found it a challenge to keep up. They have failed to score in nine of their 20 games - no team has failed to do so more often in the league.

They faced a Man City side that have scored in their last 14 games, their longest run of games with a goal in the competition since going 25 straight games with a strike from 16th October 2022 to 5th November 2023.

Bristol City Manager Lauren Smith reflected on the season with Sky Sports, saying: "Some of the performances we’ve been really proud of, but we still haven’t got results off.

"Even in this game, up to 60-something minutes, I was very, very proud of how we defended, created some really good counter-attacks in the first half.

“I think we’ve shown up, but we haven’t shown up for 90 minutes week-in, week-out, and I think that’s been the difference.

“We have to start looking at what next year looks like. I’ll be working with the chairman to make sure that we do what we need to do to make sure that we are stronger next year.

"We have to continue to build and that’s on the pitch, off the pitch and to make sure our fanbase is as incredible as it is right now next year.

"All of us as a club are part of that, and we will be looking to make sure we continue this trend and excitement about women’s football in Bristol.”

West Ham were pleased to secure their WSL status in a clash that saw them grab a late goal to make it 1-1 at Villa Park. The Hammers have not had a good season under Rehanne Skinner, who joined in late July, and maybe with her experience more would have been expected of West Ham.

Skinner has struggled to get her team to find any consistency, and they have failed to win in their last seven games - their last longer winless streak was from 14th October 2023 to 21st January 2024, a run of nine games.

The Hammers arguably have a young squad and there was very little time to recruit before the season started. However, she did put the January window to good use, bringing in US and Australian Internationals, respectively in Kristie Mewis and Katrina Gorry to bolster the midfield, along with two other key signings, Shelina Zadorsky and Marika Bergman-Lundin.

This seems to have been the boost West Ham needed to stay in the top flight ahead of Bristol City.

The Title Race

Manchester City continued their march at the top to go six points clear of their rivals Chelsea with their 4-0 win at Bristol City. Arsenal knew they had a big opportunity to go level on points with Chelsea and further put pressure on their London rivals.

Jonas Eidevall's side, however, could not manufacture the win in a match that saw them dominate all the stats, except the one that mattered. It was 1-1 at the final whistle, leaving the Gunners all but out of the title race.

Arsenal had needed to ensure they won all their remaining games to even be in with a shout, but their away form has let them down this season.

The unlikely Everton star to score the 95th-minute equaliser was 16-year-old Issy Hobson, who headed home for her first senior goal to ruin Arsenal's chase for the top.

The Gunners have scored in each of their last 10 games in the English Women's Super League, scoring 22 goals in that run. The goals alone, though, have not been enough to challenge for the title this season.

With Beth Mead back in the side and looking more and more like the player before her ACL injury, Alessia Russo scoring regularly, getting her 10th of the season against Everton, having Leah Williamson back in the side and the signing of Emily Fox, things are on the up for Arsenal as the season draws to a close.

They have also won some silverware this term with the League Cup title, beating Chelsea to spoil Emma Hayes' final campaign.

Eidevall shared his thoughts on the remainder of the season, where Arsenal can still have a big impact on the title race, in his post-match press conference.

Arsenal may now be out of contention to lift the WSL title, but this coming weekend will see them face Manchester City at the Joie Stadium. It is a match-up that could undoubtedly decide the title race, so they still have a tremendous role to play as the drama unfolds. 

Eidevall said: "I need to consult the Opta supercomputer to see what the probability is for not staying in third position.

"For next weekend, it doesn’t change anything. It is to say it is really important for us to finish the season strongly. We haven’t won at Manchester City for a long time and I would very much like to change that.

"We have an obligation to the league and all the teams competing. We know we will have a strong vote in that sense. Every team needs to do their very best and, in the end, the best team is going to win the league and that is fair.

"Me personally, I couldn’t care less whether Chelsea or Manchester City win it. I don’t have any preferences there. From our perspective, we need to do our very best in all games to make sure that the league is as fair as possible."

Before Arsenal's huge clash with City, which takes place on Sunday, there is a key game for Chelsea as they travel to face Liverpool on Wednesday.

Isabella Hobson came on from the bench to score a record-breaking goal as Everton Women drew 1-1 with Arsenal Women in the WSL.

Arsenal had been hoping to move level on points with second-place Chelsea on Sunday, and were on course to do just that when Alessia Russo scored from close range in the 80th minute.

That opener came after a glut of missed chances from the visitors, who were wasteful throughout at Walton Hall Park.

Russo should have put the game to bed in the third minute of stoppage time, only to blaze over with the goal gaping, and the Gunners were subsequently made to pay.

Arsenal failed to clear their lines from a corner, with Hobson able to rise up and plant a brilliant header into the back of the net, with the 16-year-old becoming the youngest-ever WSL goalscorer in the process.

The draw leaves Arsenal in third on 44 points, meaning their title hopes will be ended should Manchester City beat Bristol City later on Sunday.

Data Debrief: History for Hobson 

Everton hero Hobson is the team's youngest goalscorer in 14 years, as the Toffees claimed their first WSL point against Arsenal since 2012.

Arsenal have scored in their last 10 games in the WSL, their longest run of games with a goal in the competition since a run of 18 last season, but the Gunners could not keep things tight at the back and ultimately paid the price.

Jonas Eidevall insists Arsenal are still focused on their title push despite being given a 0 per cent chance of winning the Women’s Super League by the Opta supercomputer.

The Gunners sit in third place ahead of Sunday’s match against Everton and are six points behind leaders Manchester City.

Chelsea occupy second place, three points ahead of Arsenal, but with a game in hand on the teams around them.

Asked if he thought his side could do something special despite the Opta supercomputer’s prediction, Eidevall did not rule his team out of the race.

He said: “It's about for us focusing on what we can control.

"The Opta supercomputer is definitely one of the things that we can't control. So, they can make their calculations, but we have to focus on our performances.”

With just three matchweeks to go in the Women's Super League, it really is all to play for.

Manchester City lead the pack, three points ahead of rivals Chelsea. The Blues have a game in hand so can even things up, but are also behind the Citizens on both goal difference and goals scored. 

Bristol City are all but down and will drop to the Championship if they lose at home to Man City and West Ham can get a win at Aston Villa, with both of those matches taking place on Sunday.

Arsenal, meanwhile, travel to Everton for the early kick-off. The Gunners have won each of their last 16 WSL games against Everton, the joint-longest winning run by a team against a single opponent in the competition's history (Manchester City also managed 16 against Everton).

Jonas Eidevall's side will be buoyant after securing Champions League qualification for next season, but they have not given up on chasing down the leaders, as they start the weekend six points off the pace.

Arsenal's form on the road has been the chink in their armour this season. Three of Arsenal’s WSL defeats this term have come away from home (versus Tottenham, West Ham and Chelsea), though the Gunners haven’t lost outside of London in the competition since April 2023, in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United, going eight unbeaten since then (seven wins, one draw).

The Toffees, however, are also in good spirits after beating Brighton 2-1 last time out. Everton will be looking to win successive WSL games for just the second time this season. Four of their five wins this campaign have now come away from home, however. 

One to watch in this encounter will be Beth Mead, who is finding the form that she was displaying before suffering the anterior cruciate ligament injury which kept her out for almost 12 months. 

Mead has scored four goals in her last two WSL appearances, netting braces against both Bristol City and Leicester City. This is only the second time the England star has done so in back-to-back outings in the competition, also doing so for Sunderland in July 2015 (versus Chelsea and Bristol City)

Elsewhere, Tottenham host Brighton in a mid-table clash. Tottenham are unbeaten in four previous home games against Brighton in WSL play (three wins, one draw), drawing this fixture 2-2 last season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

They will be looking to build momentum ahead of next month's FA Cup final against Manchester United, but the Seagulls could provide them with a stern test.

Brighton are unbeaten in their last three away WSL games (two wins, one draw), their longest-ever streak on the road in the competition; the Seagulls have scored 10 goals in four away games under Mikey Harris. 

Aston Villa welcome West Ham to Villa Park, having struggled to hit the heights they reached last season. Winless in their last three WSL games (one draw, two defeats), Villa are on their longest run without victory since losing their opening five league matches of the season.

The Hammers are teetering on the brink of the relegation zone, but a win against Villa would secure their WSL status for another season. 

No side in the WSL this season has scored fewer goals than West Ham (17), whilst they are one of only two sides in the competition – alongside Arsenal - to be underperforming their expected goals (xG) figures, scoring their 17 goals from chances with an xG total of 20.7 (-3.7).

Another reason why they find themselves in such a precarious position is they have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last eight away WSL games (one win, one draw, six defeats), the second-longest ongoing streak in the competition, behind only Bristol City (21).

Despite securing a place in the FA Cup final, Mark Skinner's Manchester United team have found this campaign a challenge after being so prominent in last season's title race. 

The Red Devils began the season with doubts over the future of their star shot-stopper Mary Earps, with United rejecting a world-record offer from Arsenal for her services.

Earps is United's leading-appearance maker in the Women's Super League and could play her 100th game in the competition for the Red Devils this weekend; since her debut for the club in September 2019, the England international has recorded more clean sheets in the top flight than any other goalkeeper (45).

Leicester, United's opponents on Sunday, are looking to change their fortunes but have lost their last two games and could lose three in a row for the first time since December 2022 (a run of five).

Manchester City will look to go six points clear of Chelsea in the final game of the weekend. Chelsea are not in action until midweek due to their involvement in the Champions League semi-finals, with the Blues taking a 1-0 first-leg lead over Barcelona into Saturday's second leg at Stamford Bridge.

The Citizens know they need to keep their foot on the throttle as they pursue their first WSL title since 2016, a drought Gareth's Taylor's team are keen to end. 

Their striker Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw leads the WSL scoring charts this season with 21 goals to her name. However, she limped off last time out and it is thought she may now miss the rest of the campaign through injury. Since the start of last season, she has recorded 51 WSL goal contributions – the most of any player (41 goals, 10 assists).

City will also be keen to further boost their goal tally as the title race could come down to goals scored, should Chelsea win their games in hand and both sides match each other's results for the rest of the season. 

City have scored in each of their last 18 away WSL games (38 goals), the longest such streak they've ever managed in the competition's history.

Taylor's side have been ruthless this campaign, scoring 54 goals, with the likes of Lauren Hemp, Mary Fowler, Chloe Kelly and Jess Park all contributing. Only Shaw (24) has recorded more combined goals and assists than Hemp (15) in 2023-24. 

Bristol City are the team tasked with stopping Taylor's juggernaut, and the Robins have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 29 WSL games, the longest such run any side has ever endured in the competition's history.

With the title race as close as ever and bottom clubs still fighting for survival, it promises to be another exciting weekend in the WSL

Emma Hayes bizarrely recited part of a poem after Jonas Eidevall branded her accusation against him of male aggression “irresponsible”.

Eidevall’s Arsenal defeated Hayes’ Chelsea 1-0 earlier this month in the Continental Cup final but the result was overshadowed by a spat between the two managers.

Hayes took exception to a touchline altercation between Eidevall and Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert and appeared to push the Arsenal boss after the match.

Both managers were speaking for the first time since the contest ahead of matches this weekend, and Eidevall did not hold back in criticising Hayes for her remarks.

“I thought the comments that I heard after the game were very irresponsible and they were not mirroring the conduct that I had in the technical area,” Eidevall said on arsenal.com.

“I think always when you make comments about other persons, you have to take into consideration what effects that may have. That’s why you need to be, especially when you’re a leader, you need to be very good with words.

“You need to understand the consequences of both your actions and your language and that’s why I think it’s really, really important that we treat each other with a lot of respect and that we stay at facts as much as possible and don’t get too emotional.”

Hayes’ response – when asked whether she would change her comments – was to read a line from Robert Frost’s poem Choose Something Like a Star: “When at times the mob is swayed to carry praise or blame too far, we may choose something like a star, to stay our minds on and be staid.”

Neither manager offered an apology, with Eidevall saying he was “very happy” with the way he conducted himself, while Hayes described a conversation with her young son about responding to aggression.

“My son said to me after the game, ‘Mummy, when you push someone in school you’re asked to go and take time out’,” she told reporters.

“And I said to him, ‘You know what darling, you can’t meet aggression with aggression. All you can do is tell the teacher’. I thought it was a really good conversation to have with my son.”

Pressed further, Hayes indicated she regretted her reaction, saying: “I’ve had a fantastic break, I’ve already explained an important analogy that I shared with my son and the lessons learned and my focus is on moving forward and I’ve had time to look at my star.

“Of course it’s not right to meet aggression with aggression. I can only control my own behaviours.

“I’ve reflected on that and next time I just need to listen to my son’s advice and I need to go to the teacher if I’ve got anything to say.”

On Eidevall’s branding of her as “irresponsible”, Hayes said simply: “I don’t have an opinion on it.”

There appears no prospect of clear-the-air talks between the pair any time soon, with Hayes, who will not face any sanction for the push, adding: “We don’t play Arsenal, we don’t have each other’s telephone numbers, we’d have no reason to do that.

“But I’m sure when I become the boss of the USA we will have conversations. Until the end of the season, my focus is on Chelsea.”

Eidevall revealed, meanwhile, that Frida Maanum, who collapsed during the cup final in worrying scenes, could return in next weekend’s match against Leicester.

“Everything is looking good and that’s the most important thing,” said Eidevall. “She’s on a graduated, monitored protocol now to return to play.

“She will not be available for selection (against Bristol City) on Sunday but, after that, if everything goes as planned, it looks promising for her to be available to play again.”

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