Five talking points from the WSL weekend

Nick Cushing got the perfect end to his time in charge of Manchester City Action Images via Reuters/Molly Darlington

There was a perfect ending for a popular manager, more pitch issues for one club and plenty of goals in round 14 of the Barclays FA Women's Super League. Geoff Berkeley looked at five of the biggest talking points of the weekend.


Cushing’s fairytale farewell

It was the end of an era at Manchester City as Nick Cushing took charge of his final match as manager – and it could not have gone any better.

During his six-year reign, City won a WSL title, two Women’s FA Cup's and three League Cup's. And Cushing, who is set to join New York City as assistant manager, leaves the club on top of the table after securing a 2-1 win over title rivals Arsenal.

Pauline Bremer and Lauren Hemp struck either side of half-time to put City in control at the Academy Stadium.

Danielle van de Donk got one back for Arsenal, but the hosts held firm as Cushing received a guard of honour from his players as he left the field.

G-eight afternoon for title-chasers

There appears to be no stopping Chelsea as they smashed eight past West Ham in a sensational showing.

Since the turn of the year the Blues have racked up a whopping 29 goals in just seven matches in all competitions.

Four of those came in their stunning win over Arsenal in their previous league encounter and they backed that up with another ruthless performance.

Chelsea led 3-0 at half-time thanks to goals from Maren Mjelde, Bethany England and Sophie Ingle before stepping up a gear in the second half.

England and Mjelde struck again with Erin Cuthbert, Ramona Bachmann and Emily Murphy also scoring as Blues crushed West Ham to stay a point behind Man City.


Pitch problems for Reds

The wet weather threatened to put a dampener on the weekend as two matches were postponed.

Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with Bristol City at The Hive was called off due to a waterlogged pitch while Liverpool’s game against Birmingham City fell victim with the surface at Prenton Park – the home of Tranmere Rovers – deemed unplayable.

It was the second time this has happened to Liverpool this season as their match against Manchester United on January 12 was also postponed.

Chairman Peter Moore said he was in continual discussions with Tranmere chief Mark Palios and added: “We need to try to find a solution to provide our LFC Women with the surface they deserve.“To that end we will continue to explore all the options open to us.”

Williams makes amends

The pressure was on Fara Williams when she stepped up for a penalty with 10 minutes to go against Manchester United.

Not only would it snatch a point for Reading after Lauren James put United in front but it would banish the memories of her miss earlier in the clash.

Keeper Mary Earps came to the visitors’ rescue when she pulled off a superb save to thwart Willliams from the spot.

But there was to be no denying Williams the second time around as she riffled the ball into the top left-hand corner.

The emphatic finish summed up Williams’ courageous character as she dashed United’s hopes of securing all three points.

Whelan’s back to haunt old club

Back in 2017, Aileen Whelan made two appearances for Everton.

It was only a brief spell but she reminded the fans of her talents when he smashed home the winner for Brighton and Hove Albion.

With 38 minutes on the clock, Kirsty Barton’s cross was knocked down by Amanda Nilden for Whelan who thumped the ball past Sandy MacIver from 12 yards out.

It also sealed Brighton’s first league victory in three matches as they moved further clear of the drop zone.