16 May 2024

5 memorable moments from the 2023-24 Women’s Super League campaign

16 May 2024

The Women’s Super League season reaches its conclusion this weekend with the final round of matches taking place on Saturday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the memorable moments from the 2023-24 campaign.

Title twist

Following Chelsea’s dramatic 4-3 loss at Liverpool four days earlier that had left their manager Emma Hayes saying she saw the title race as over, Manchester City were firmly in the driving seat at the top of the table as they hosted Arsenal on May 5.

But having led early on, City ended up being beaten 2-1 courtesy of a late Stina Blackstenius brace – and a few hours later, an 8-0 win for Chelsea at Bristol City, with Guro Reiten scoring four times, put them three points behind Gareth Taylor’s side with a game in hand and a goal difference superior by one.

Chelsea then won that extra game 1-0 at Tottenham on Wednesday night thanks to a Maika Hamano goal to replace City at the top, with a goal difference better by two, ahead of a final day that sees Hayes’ team play Manchester United at Old Trafford and Taylor’s take on Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Hayes to head off

Chelsea are pursuing a fifth successive WSL title to give Hayes a glorious send-off after it was announced in November that she would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

The news came just after the team had won 6-0 at Villa, and was followed 10 days later by confirmation that the 47-year-old – who has been Chelsea boss since 2012 – was to become the next head coach of the United States women’s side.

Opening-day surprise with record attendance

The opening day of the campaign last October saw Matt Beard’s Liverpool set the tone for their impressive season as Miri Taylor’s finish secured a shock 1-0 win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, in front of a WSL record crowd of 54,115.

The record was broken again at the same ground when Jonas Eidevall’s Gunners beat Chelsea 4-1 there in December (59,042), and Arsenal subsequently announced just over 60,000 tickets were sold for games at the Emirates against Manchester United in February and Tottenham in March.

Landmark derby

History was also made on November 19 when Old Trafford hosted its first WSL Manchester derby.

City came from behind to beat Marc Skinner’s United 3-1 as they embarked upon what would be a 14-match winning run in the league, halted by the loss to Arsenal, and their goalscorers included Khadija Shaw, whose Golden Boot race-leading tally for the season has since surged to 21.

Hammer blow for Robins

Lauren Smith’s Bristol City found the going tough after promotion, securing only five points from their first 11 games, with a 3-2 victory at West Ham in November the solitary win.

They went into January’s home clash against the Hammers bottom of the table but level on points with them – but were unable to make the most of the opportunity to overtake, losing 2-1 to Rehanne Skinner’s team, and they went on to be relegated with just one further point accrued.

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