It was ‘as you were’ in the WSL title race as Manchester City and Chelsea both registered away wins at Arsenal and Reading respectively.
City arrived at Boreham Wood knowing that if they were victorious and Chelsea were beaten that they would be crowned champions for the first time in their three year history.
Having met seven days previously in the semi-final of the Continental Cup, the game started slowly but Asisat Oshoala thought she had given Arsenal the lead after just 8 minutes when she jinxed through the defence only to see her deflected shot come straight back to her and her second effort deflected just wide of the post. A minute later Nikita Parris went close for City when she latched onto a fine through pass from Jane Ross but the England striker hesitated a second and saw her shot deflected forcing Van Veenendal into pushing her shot away at the near post.
Arsenal went close again 10 minutes before half time when Jordan Nobbs turned sharply from a tight angle and her first time effort forced a good save from Karen Bardsley to tip the Arsenal midfielders shot over the bar. However the two sides went into the half goalless.
The deadlock was broken five minutes after the break when City were awarded a free kick at the edge of the Arsenal penalty; Steph Houghton’s curled effort deflected off the head of Jane Ross and looped over Sari Van Veenendaal who couldn’t keep the effort out of the net despite getting a hand to it.
Any hopes that City might be crowned champions ahead of schedule were dashed moments later when Katie Chapman gave Chelsea the lead at winless Reading thanks to a superb header from a whipped in cross.
Nikita Parris continued to threaten for City and almost handed Isobel Christiansen a tap in with 12 minutes to go as the England winger raced down the right, pulled her low cross back but it was superbly cleared by Emma Mitchell.
The late Arsenal onslaught never arrived and City comfortably saw out the game to register their 10th league win of the season and their 11th WSL clean sheet.
At Adam’s Park, Gemma Davison wrapped up the points with a superb solo goal where she beat three players and drilled a shot across Reading goalkeeper Mary Earps but Anna Borges made it 3-0 with a placed shot into the bottom right hand corner from inside the area.
City and Chelsea meet two Sunday’s from today at the Academy Stadium where, should City avoid defeat they will be crowned Champions of WSL.