The title race in the Women’s Super League looks as if it’ll be going down to the wire with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all within touching distance of each other at the summit of the division.
Indeed, after a successful January for all three title hopefuls, the proverbial business end of the campaign is shaping up to be a hugely exciting run-in, perhaps the most thrilling in years. For that, we’ve got plenty of players to thank. With that in mind, here are the six WSL stars who earned nominations for the GIVEMESPORT Fans’ FA WSL Player of the Month award in January…
While January was an exceptionally high-scoring month for teams in the WSL, Chelsea’s Ann-Katrin Berger proved as imperious between the posts as ever.
In fact, the German only conceded once in four games and even that took an absolutely stunning finish from United’s Lauren James.
Considering just how tight things are at the top of the table, the fact Chelsea have conceded considerably fewer goals (8, at the time of writing) to both their title rivals (13 and 11 respectively) could be a major factor in deciding who ultimately wins the league.
For that, they largely have Berger to thank.
Few people will need reminding of Fran Kirby’s quality but, even for Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer, January looked to have been a purple patch.
Four goals in a rout against Reading to start 2021 off with a bang was followed up by a crucial winner against United at Kingsmeadow (a game that could still prove pivotal in deciding who wins the league) with Kirby once again proving the difference-maker.
While it’s hard to suggest a club like Manchester City can ever do things quietly given the interest they attract, they are creeping up on both United and Chelsea. Five points off the top with a game in hand, they enjoyed a hugely productive start to 2021, winning all three of their league games by at least four goals.
A huge part of that was the form of Caroline Weir. Indeed, the Scot bagged twice against Brighton on the 24th before netting the opener against West Ham a week later.
It does seem as if City’s hopes of winning the league title rest on their attackers.
While they aren’t exactly letting goals in on a regular basis, we are talking about fine margins here, so the fact they have conceded more than Chelsea suggests they will have to outscore the Blues in order to steal their crown.
Luckily, then, they have an in-form Ellen White alongside the aforementioned Weir. The England international seems hell-bent on winning a league title again, almost a decade after her last, and scored in all three of the league games January had to offer.
While Manchester United did get off to a disappointing start to 2021 following the loss away at Chelsea, it could have been different thanks to Ella Toone. It was her assist that set-up James to draw level at Kingsmeadow and United’s return to form was helped by Toone’s goals.
Indeed, the 21-year-old sealed a win over Birmingham City with a late goal to ensure there was no nervy finish at Leigh Sports Village Stadium before opening the scoring in a 2-0 away at Everton a week later.
Away from the upper echelons of the WSL, Bristol City’s survival hopes are largely being carried by Ebony Salmon at the moment. She has scored exactly half of their 10 goals this season and a brace in a vital win over fellow strugglers Aston Villa affirmed her status as one of the division’s rising stars.
Following those two strikes up with a penalty in a 3-0 thumping of Brighton, the 20-year-old is enjoying a wonderful campaign on an individual basis.
The FA WSL vote opens at 11am on Thursday 11th February. To vote go to: