Three standout players from the Barclays FA WSL this weekend

Steph Houghton showcased her value for Manchester City with a well-taken free-kick against Everton in Round Three
Steph Houghton showcased her value for Manchester City with a well-taken free-kick against Everton in Round Three

The Barclays FA WSL season continued in the same, exhilarating vein in Round Three, as each team looked to secure maximum points ahead of the campaign’s first international break.

Early pace-setters Arsenal and Manchester City maintained their advantage at the top with impressive wins, but there were strong performances from teams throughout the table.

With a two-week league hiatus impending, a selection of key individuals stood up to be counted as they looked to steer their side to glory. Here we pick out three of the best.

Jordan Nobbs

Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs celebrated her return to the England squad in perfect fashion, notching her first goal since returning from a serious knee injury as the Gunners put four past Brighton.

The 26-year-old was instrumental in midfield throughout a dominant display, setting up Vivianne Miedema for her first goal of the season, and creating chances for Beth Mead and Katie McCabe.

And Nobbs got herself on the scoresheet with 20 minutes to go with a well-executed volley, to open her locker for the season and steer her side to their third straight win in the Barclays FA WSL.

Having agonisingly missed the World Cup due to her lengthy lay-off, Nobbs is seemingly back to her best and in an XI alongside the likes of Miedema, Kim Little and Danielle van de Donk, Gunners fans will be confident of defending their title this year.

Guro Reiten

Among Arsenal’s fiercest title challengers could be Emma Hayes’ Chelsea, and the Blues remain unbeaten with two wins and a draw from their opening three fixtures.

Summer signing Guro Reiten was the star performer in their most recent victory, netting her first two goals of the season as Chelsea beat Bristol City 4-0.

The Norway international topped the 2017 and 2018 Toppserien goalscoring charts and demonstrated the danger she possesses in front of goal, securing her brace within the first 10 minutes at the Stoke Gifford Stadium.

And with the 25-year-old seemingly finding her feet in the English top flight, and the likes of Fran Kirby and Beth England alongside her, Chelsea’s league credentials look as strong as ever.

Steph Houghton

Having lost out in the battle for the trophy last season, Manchester City knew they couldn’t let slip any advantage to Arsenal on a tricky trip to the season’s surprise package, Everton.

But cometh the hour in treacherous conditions, skipper Steph Houghton demonstrated all of her leadership prowess by stepping up to guide a sumptuous free-kick into the bottom corner to set City on their way for a vital win.

It was a moment reminiscent of her World Cup strike against Cameroon this summer, and yet again the 31-year-old proved her worth to Nick Cushing’s side.

With City aiming to reclaim the Barclays FA WSL title this season for the first time since 2016, Houghton’s ability from defence and set-pieces could be crucial to their challenge.

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