Lauren James on target as Chelsea open WSL title defence with win over Tottenham | OneFootball

Icon: The Independent

The Independent

·1 October 2023

Lauren James on target as Chelsea open WSL title defence with win over Tottenham

Article image:Lauren James on target as Chelsea open WSL title defence with win over Tottenham

Champions Chelsea opened their Women’s Super League title defence with a 2-1 win over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

Australia striker Sam Kerr, who had been injured at the World Cup, was not in the squad - but Chelsea debutant Mia Fishel headed the home side into a 27th-minute lead.

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England international Lauren James added another early in the second half from a cross by Guro Reiten, whose initial effort looked to have been cleared away from behind the line.

Spurs set up a tense closing 15 minutes when Martha Thomas pulled a goal back, before Chelsea substitute Jelena Cankovic saw her late goal ruled out for offside.

Manchester United came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 with a stoppage-time goal from substitute Rachel Williams at Villa Park, where the hosts saw Kirsty Hanson sent off.

Scotland winger Hanson was shown a straight red card in the 74th minute for her high tackle on United midfielder Hayley Ladd.

Villa, though, soon took the lead through England international Rachel Daly, only for Lucia Garcia to quickly have United back on level terms.

Just when it seemed both teams would have to settle for a point, Williams headed in Nikita Parris’ deflected cross to secure United a dramatic victory.

Leicester came from behind to beat newly-promoted Bristol City 4-2 at Ashton Gate.

The Robins, back in the top flight after an absence of two seasons, went ahead through a fine strike from Carrie Jones in the 33rd minute.

New Leicester signing Aimee Palmer, playing against her former club, fired the visitors level in added time at the end of the first half.

Leicester took control after the break, as Shannon O’Brien put them in front and German striker Lena Petermann, making her debut, headed a third in the 52nd minute.

Fellow debutant Jutta Rantala increased Leicester’s lead with seven minutes left before Amalie Thestrup scored her first Robins goal from the penalty spot.

Elisabeth Terland scored twice in the first half as Brighton opened their WSL campaign with a 2-0 win at Everton.

Norway forward Terland headed in after the ball came back off the crossbar to give the visitors a third-minute lead and soon added a second after being played in by Katie Robinson.

Everton captain Megan Finnigan reduced the deficit just after the hour, but the home side were unable to conjure an equaliser.

Manchester City won 2-0 at West Ham as Jill Roord scored on her debut.

Lauren Hemp broke the deadlock early in the second half with a curling effort before Chloe Kelly then saw her penalty saved.

Netherlands international Roord, a club-record summer signing from Wolfsburg, slotted in to open her City account in the 55th minute.

City finished a player down after Leila Ouahabi was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Emma Harries, but the Hammers could not get themselves back into the game.

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