The title race in the WSL took another turn last weekend as Sam Kerr’s stunner secured a vital 1-0 win for Chelsea over Manchester United. It was a result that took the Blues back to the top of the table and with one game in hand they are now favourites to go on and secure their fourth league title in a row.
But it is far from a foregone conclusion. In their next WSL fixture, Emma Hayes’ side faces another titanic battle as they face Manchester City away in a match that could see Gareth Taylor’s side go above Chelsea. It’s been a hell of a season which has for once seen more than just two teams contend for the title.
Although the battle and growing needle between Jonas Eidevall and Hayes herself is always intriguing and provided great drama at the end of last term, it was a two-horse race. And Chelsea didn’t slip up. This season however, there are far more teams that can theoretically take points off the top two.
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Chelsea have only lost once, while Man City, Man Utd and Arsenal - now the chasing pack - have all lost twice apiece. All four have provided an impressive level of consistency and as we reach the business end of the season, it is great for the sport that we have so much diversity in the title race.
It’s also a sign of progression that four of the biggest teams in English football are taking women’s football so seriously. The investment is higher than ever before in the WSL and the quality is improving every season, but it has taken some time for the likes of Manchester United to fully commit. However, now they have, and Liverpool are back in the top flight, it makes for a far richer product.
Fans are far more likely to watch Man Utd v Man City rather than the London City Lionesses v Doncaster Belles - no disrespect intended to either of those clubs. It’s the symmetry between the men’s game and the women’s game that has helped raise the profile and peak the interest of a whole new audience.
The touch and finish from Sam Kerr. 😮💨
There’s a real possibility that either Manchester City or Arsenal could complete the Premier League and WSL double - something that is likely to be highly coveted in a decade’s time. Chelsea have reigned supreme over the past three years but their crown is now being wrestled from their head. It’s an enthralling title race with star names emerging in their own right.
But what the WSL really needs now, is for this season to end with a new champion. Hayes and Chelsea have dominated the sport and deserve all the plaudits they have picked up along the way. But just as the Premier League needs a new champion rather than Manchester City to keep things fresh, the same can be said for the WSL.
Instead of Chelsea being the obvious choice for star players to join, the new champions would be able to compete with them for transfers and in turn, the whole division would be stronger. The Blues visit Man City in between an epic Champions League clash with holders Lyon. They could make the nation proud on the European stage, but Arsenal or either Manchester club will be waiting in the wings, should they slip up domestically.
The WSL has never been better. Perhaps it's time for a new champion to take it up a level once again.