Soccer

Arsenal join Chelsea at top of WSL after impressive win in front of record crowd

Arsenal celebrated a big win over Chelsea in front of a WSL-record crowd at the Emirates (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Arsenal celebrated a big win over Chelsea in front of a WSL-record crowd at the Emirates (Bradley Collyer/PA) Arsenal celebrated a big win over Chelsea in front of a WSL-record crowd at the Emirates (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Arsenal moved level on points with Chelsea at the top of the Women’s Super League with a 4-1 rout of the champions in front of a league-record crowd of 59,042 at the Emirates Stadium.

Alessia Russo scored twice with Amanda Ilestedt also on the scoresheet after Johanna Rytting Kaneryd had cancelled out Beth Mead’s opener.

Mead capped a swift counter-attack eight minutes in, but Chelsea needed only five minutes to level through Rytting Kaneryd who beat Manuela Zinsberger at her near post with a shot from distance.

The game was all but decided with two goals in three minutes before half-time. Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger came off her line but got nowhere near Steph Catley’s corner as Ilestedt headed into the empty net for her first WSL goal, and Russo then finished off another counter-attack.

The fourth came in the 72nd minute. Berger came out to challenge Russo and, although Jess Carter won the ball and knocked it away from the Arsenal forward, the referee signalled a penalty as Russo tumbled over Berger, who shook her head in disbelief before being beaten from the spot.

The result puts Arsenal on 22 points, second to Chelsea on goal difference, with Manchester City three points back in third.