Barclays FA WSL: Five talking points from Round Five

Chelsea's Ji So-Yun starred for Chelsea in their 3-1 victory away at West Ham Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

​Round five of the Barclays FA Women's Super League cooked up plenty of goals and drama, with Lionesses stars shining while Chelsea move to the top of the standings for the first time so far.

Ella Jerman looked at five of the biggest talking points of the weekend.

Reigning champions pip title-chasers

Some may have thought this was a tough fixture to call but judging by the history books, Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City could not have been more predictable.

Now, each of the last five Women’s Super League games between Arsenal and City have been won by the home side – if the Citizens want a chance at stealing the title from the Gunners, they’re going to have to up their game to continue the trend in the reverse fixture at the Academy Stadium.

Titles are decided on fine margins and who else would prove the difference at Borehamwood on Sunday than last season’s top-scorer Vivianne Miedema, the Dutch striker doing what she does best with a composed low finish in the 43rd minute.

Miedema’s strike put an end to City’s unbeaten start to the new WSL season, and was also the first goal Nick Cushing’s side have conceded this campaign.

Graham at the double for Spurs

Plenty of expectation rested on Kit Graham when she joined Tottenham from Charlton this summer and the striker finally got off the goal-scoring mark by scoring twice to steer Spurs to a 2-1 comeback victory at Bristol City.

And what a way to start it was for the 23-year-old forward who scored two almost identical long-range efforts in as many second-half minutes to secure the three points for Spurs.

Those who haven’t faced her yet will know they have plenty to fear after watching the highlights, Graham on both occasions finding a way to wriggle through the City defence before launching two unstoppable strikes with her left foot.

What’s more, this is only the very beginning for Graham, who scored over 200 goals for Charlton during her seven-year stint at south London. Hold onto her, and the future looks very bright for Tottenham indeed.

West Ham’s dreams quickly fade and die

When Adriana Leon came off the bench to score with her first touch, it all looked too good to be true.

And so, it was for the Hammers, who succumbed to a 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea after Sophie Ingle, Ji So-Yun and Drew Spence netted to cancel out Leon’s surprise opener.

If anyone is looking for an example to prove Ji is still one of the best players in the WSL, Sunday’s performance is your answer.

The Blues’ quickfire comeback was orchestrated by the South Korean, who laid an inch-perfect pass for Ingle to draw level before netting a spectacular second to send Chelsea top of the WSL table.

One point ahead of Arsenal and City at the top, it’s been an impressive start to the campaign from Emma Hayes’ side, who are looking to win back the title they claimed in 2018.

Staniforth scores as Blues get off the mark

It was a long-time coming for last season’s fourth-place finishers but Birmingham finally picked up their first points of the season thanks to an impressive performance from England midfielder Lucy Staniforth in a 2-0 win over Liverpool.

Staniforth, who spent a season with the Reds in 2014-15, set up the Blues’ first, firing in a free-kick from the left which was met by defender Kerys Harrop, before doubling the lead with a spectacular half-volley from inside the box.

Birmingham’s transfer window mass exodus, which saw the likes of Ellen White, Aoife Mannion and Hayley Ladd depart for the blues and reds of Manchester, looked to be taking its toll on Marta Tejedor’s side.

But perhaps holding onto quality like Staniforth was the most important thing they could have done.

Kelly grabbing Neville’s attention

Topping the goal-scoring charts is the ambition for any striker, but it doesn’t come at a better time than three days before your national team manager makes his latest squad announcement.

Everton’s Chloe Kelly, who tops the standings after scoring four goals in her last six games, will surely feel hard done by if she doesn’t make the cut for Phil Neville for the upcoming friendlies against Germany and Czech Republic.

The 21-year-old striker sealed the deal in Everton’s 2-0 win over Brighton, helping to steer her side up to an unprecedented fifth in the WSL table, just four points behind table-toppers Chelsea.

With the likes of Beth England in red-hot form and Ellen White making her return from injury as a substitute for Manchester City on Sunday, Kelly still has a lot to do before she can stake a claim to that No.9 shirt but if we can be certain on one thing, she’s definitely caught Neville’s eye.