Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League qualification remain in their own hands after a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Brighton in the Women’s Super League.
The Gunners are level on points with Manchester United, who beat Tottenham 4-1 on Sunday, but have a game in hand on their rivals.
It was not an easy afternoon for Joe Montemurro’s team against a Seagulls side which has made a habit of picking up points off the top four this campaign.
Jordan Nobbs netted the opener on 27 minutes as her strike was too strong for Megan Walsh before Emily Simpkins missed Brighton’s best opportunity, seeing her long-range effort trickle wide with ‘keeper Manuela Zinsberger stranded.
And it was Nobbs who made sure of all three points 13 minutes from time, tapping in from inside the six-yard box after a lightning fast counter-attack split open the Seagulls’ defence and saw Beth Mead put it on a plate for her team-mate.
United keep the pressure on
It was an important victory after Casey Stoney’s United saw off out-of-form Tottenham with ease at lunchtime.
Spurs had started brightly before Ella Toone fired the Red Devils into a ninth-minute lead at Leigh Sports Village.
She swept home Kirsty Hanson’s cross, before Christen Press’ front-post header doubled their lead 10 minutes later.
It looked like it could get ugly for Spurs when Jess Sigsworth netted a third on the half-hour mark, however Toone’s second from the penalty spot shortly after half-time was the final goal for Stoney’s side.
But the goal of the game came from Tottenham’s Alanna Kennedy in the final seconds, as she bent a wonderful free-kick into the top corner from 25 yards.
Important points for struggling duo
At the bottom, both Birmingham City and West Ham pulled two points clear of Bristol City and Aston Villa with home draws.
Birmingham took an early lead at home to Reading through Ruby Mace when she powered in a drive from inside the box, only to be pegged back by a similarly well-struck Rachel Rowe effort after the break.
Blues skipper Christie Murray hit the bar with a 30-yard strike at the death as they were unable to find a first victory in 12 WSL games.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock between West Ham and Everton, although it was the hosts who went closest.
Martha Thomas saw her header hit the bar and bounce over midway through the second half in a scrappy affair.