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The 2020/21 Women’s Super League Christmas Prizes

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The WSL 2020/21 season has reached the Christmas break, marking roughly the midpoint of the campaign – although, admittedly, due to the match schedule, waterlogged pitches and COVID-19 cases. , no club has actually played all the other teams in the division. again.

Still, it’s a welcome return for the elite, with the league seeing no action between February and September, with women’s sport as a whole being largely decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The WSL marked their comeback in style, with an assortment of the world’s top talent making their top English debut, goals galore and a surprise table. Let’s take a look at the ups and downs of the season so far.

Jess sigsworth
Manchester United have had a fantastic season so far | Visionhaus / Getty Images

It’s an easy game to start, and table-top Manchester United of Casey Stoney take the crown.

The Red Devils were seen as making their way into the WSL top three as they entered their second top-flight season, and kicked off the campaign by taking points from a “big three” squad. ”Of the league for the very first. time via a 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

They did better, beating Arsenal 1-0 on Matchday 6, and Stoney’s side are currently leading the WSL. Their first three ambitions may have turned into a challenge for the title.

Carla Ward
Ward inspired rapid transformation in Birmingham | Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

Carla Ward has been appointed Birmingham manager 24 days before the start of the 2020/21 season. The Blues had only collected two wins in the entire previous campaign, narrowly avoiding relegation due to better points per game than Liverpool. They only had eight senior players on their books heading into the new season.

Ward galvanized his side and inspired a remarkable turnaround. A surprise FA Cup quarter-final victory over penalties against Brighton was the catalyst for some momentum, and after narrowly losing to mighty Chelsea, Birmingham went on to claim three of four wins and s’ is raised in the ranking.

A season that had previously been called “draft survival” by Ward herself now has hopes of a finish in the first half.

Sam mewis
Mewis was a great addition | Visionhaus / Getty Images

The WSL hosted a host of international talent during the 2020 transfer window – and some familiar faces have returned.

Since the signing of Tobin Heath by Manchester United, the capture of Chloe Kelly by Manchester City and the acquisition of Denise O’Sullivan by Brighton, there have been many contenders for the signing of the season.

However, Manchester City’s Sam Mewis has been in a class of its own. She has been brought to life at the WSL in a seamless manner and already single-handedly arranges matches from the midfield with her athleticism, passing range and intelligence. If her form continues into the New Year, she will be a strong contender for Player of the Season.

Jill roord
Roord scored two hat tricks in two games | Marc Atkins / Getty Images

Jill Roord has scored two goals during the entire 2019/20 WSL campaign.

She found the net six times in six days in September.

The Arsenal midfielder netted a hat-trick in the Gunners’ 6-1 win over Reading on Day 1 of the season, before scoring another hat-trick six days later as his side beat West Ham 9-1. What a week.

Francesca Kirby
Kirby is back at his best this season | Gualter Fatia / Getty Images

The 2020/21 season has offered a fresh start to a number of players. The likes of Izzy Christiansen of Everton and Caitlin Foord of Arsenal, who joined their respective clubs in January but had little time to make their mark before COVID-19 hit, have both taken relay and have been sensational this quarter.

But Chelsea’s Fran Kirby – the forgotten WSL woman after an illness that kept her from going out for most of last season – returned to Community Shield in August, and looks even better than before. .

The skillful touches and flicks, his bonding play, and his ability to provide for others have been off the charts. Kirby’s performance against rivals Manchester City has been particularly impressive, giving City’s backline a scorching scorching weather, while his five goals in nine appearances across all competitions this season have seen him overtake Eni Aluko as All-time record scorer for the Blues.

Ella Toone
Toone has thrived this season | Visionhaus / Getty Images

One of the factors behind Manchester United’s impressive start to the season has been their cohesion and the lack of a single individual star.

However, one player who has drawn particular attention is Ella Toone. The midfielder started just five league games last season, but has already surpassed that figure this season, keeping captain Katie Zelem out of the way.

Toone has scored four goals in 10 appearances – including the winner against Arsenal – and earned his first senior call to England.

Claudia walker
Birmingham recorded memorable victory at Villa Park | Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

Birmingham had every chance of winning against them for the first second WSL derby.

Their already small squad was exhausted from injuries and, with COVID restrictions on women’s academies in place in November, they could only name a 13-day squad for the clash against rivals Aston Villa.

However, Birmingham delivered a resolute performance and recorded a 1-0 victory thanks to Claudia Walker’s fifth goal of the season.

Grace Moloney
Moloney was amazing when Manchester City faced Reading | Marc Atkins / Getty Images

When the Manchester City powerhouse traveled to Madejski Stadium in October and named 11 full internationals in their starting XI – including two World Cup winners – it looked like it could be a long day for Reading.

And it was. City dominated possession and recorded 26 shots against Reading’s three.

But in the form of Royals goaltender Grace Moloney, the Citizens came up against an inspired woman. The Reading striker made no less than nine saves in an extraordinary one-on-one display to almost single-handedly win Reading a 1-1 draw against one of the strongest teams in the WSL.

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