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Football - 25. July 2011.

FA WSL Review: Arsenal and Everton score comfortable wins

Arsenal Ladies kept up the pressure on FA WSL leaders Birmingham with a 3-0 win over Liverpool while Everton moved within two points of Chelsea with a 2-0 win over the Blues.

By David Brenchley

Arsenal Ladies 3-0 Liverpool Ladies

Arsenal eased to victory over bottom side Liverpool to move back to four points behind Birmingham thanks to goals from Julie Fleeting, Rachel Yankey and Kim Little.

Liverpool almost took a shock lead at Meadow Park after quarter of an hour as Scotland international Suzanne Lappin headed a free kick just wide.

Lappin's compatriot Little then came into the game when she shot just wide before setting Yankey up, who forced a good save from young keeper Danielle Gibbons.

Fleeting broke the deadline on 34 minutes when she pounced on a rebound and Yankey doubled their advantage after the interval thanks to a deflected effort.

Little then put the result beyond doubt in injury time after collecting a one-two pass and slotting past Gibbons.

Arsenal boss Laura Harvey now feels her side are getting back to their best, an ominous sign for the rest of the WSL season.

"The tempo was good," she said, "we let our standards drop at times but to come away with a 3-0 win you have to be happy."

"I think when we perform at the levels that we can, I don't think anybody can live with us. But we have to make sure we perform because it is more about us than anybody else."

Everton Ladies 2-0 Chelsea Ladies

Youngsters Toni Duggan and Michelle Hinnigan got Everton's second half of the FA WSL season off to the perfect start against third placed Chelsea.

Blues, who have impressed thus far, were almost in the lead after just 23 seconds but Rachel Brown saved well from Helen Lander after a Fern Whelan backpass put Toffees in trouble.

Danielle Buet then went close twice; Brown making another good save from a free kick and then a deflected volley from outside the area.

Despite the visitor's dominance, though, Everton too the lead just past the half hour mark when Natasha Dowie's cross was converted by Duggan.

Chelsea kept up the pressure and came agonisingly close to equalising when debutant Kate Longhurst took the ball around Brown only for Rachel Unitt to clear her effort off the line.

Duggan came close from point-blank range just after the interval and, shortly after, the goalscorer's volley was parried by Carly Telford into the path of Hinnigan, who doubled the Merseysiders' lead.

Gwennan Harries struck the post late on before Jody Handley's shot was well saved by Telford but Everton secured a precious three points to move into title contention.

Goalscorer, and birthday girl, Duggan was delighted with her performance, telling evertontv: "We've been preparing for this game for a while now and it's good to come away with three points."

"Obviously getting the goal I'm delighted, it's a positive result and a good day. A few of the girls were just blowing the cobwebs out in the first 20 minutes but we've reinforced that we can't do that again.

"Once we scored the first goal we got a bit more confidence about us and you could see that in the girls and we've got to do that from the off next time."


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