The English Women’s Super League and French Division 1 returned for their first set of football matches since the New Year with some very dominant scorelines as La Liga and Serie A continued.
Title races and relegation battles heat up as we enter the second half of the season, with the top spots in some of Europe’s top leagues looking tight.
From the London derby at the Emirates Stadium to goal-scoring Serie A fixtures, here’s everything you need to know from this week’s coverage of the best women’s football stories from across Europe, as well as upcoming major international matches.
The best female soccer players of the week
Ghoutia Karchouni – Inter Milan
The 27-year-old midfielder played a key role in Inter’s 4-0 league win over Sampdoria. It was Karchouni who helped open the scoring in the 29th minute with a perfectly placed long-range free kick that went directly to goal scorer Elisa Polla.
Karchouni then helped double the score just before the break with a rebound shot that came from Tabitha Chawing’s original shot which was saved. Karchouni read the game expertly in the second half; he consistently follows runs, finding space in space and disinterestedly leaving the balls to better positioned teammates.
Shortly after Chawinga’s third goal almost confirmed Inter’s victory, Karchouni was replaced by Pandini. The win puts Inter in third place with 25 points, three behind Juventus.
Ella Toone – Manchester United
England international Ella Toone kept Manchester United’s title hopes alive with a brilliant performance in England’s 6-0 WSL1 win over Liverpool. Toone’s pressure on Liverpool’s defense led to United’s second goal. The 23-year-old retrieved the ball back outside the penalty area and sent it to England teammate Alessia Russo, who was perfectly positioned to shoot home.
It was Toone who also set up United’s fifth goal with his first cross from the left, which was perfectly placed in the hands of Martha Thomas. The 23-year-old’s skills on and off the ball, coupled with her unwavering confidence, are a key part of Manchester United’s squad and will help propel the team forward as they look to knock Chelsea from the top spot.
With the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal ending in a draw, Manchester United’s victory puts them in second place, just three points behind the league leaders.
The best games of the week
Fiorentina 1 – 7 Rome
It was plenty of goals for top Roma who moved up to fourth in the table Fiorentina. It didn’t take long for the visitors to open the scoring with Andressy Alves’ goal, and Giada Greggie’s brilliant strike just ten minutes later doubled the Italian league leader’s tally.
Fiorentina went 2-0 down at half-time and had one less player on the pitch after Mijatovic was shown a red card in the 42nd minute.
Minutes after the break, Roma’s goalkeeper Camelia Ceasar made an impressive save but Alice Parisi was in place to fire a rebound into the back of the goal to level the score at 2-1. The goal seemed to give Fiorentina a new lease of life, but that didn’t last long as defensive errors in the 54th minute led to Roma’s third goal courtesy of Emilie Haavi.
From then on, the floodgates opened. Roma’s attacking line shattered Fiorentina’s defense in the 73rd minute, allowing Anddressie Alves to easily secure her goal.
The league leaders dominated the rest of the game, squandering several chances until Zara Kramzar put it up 5-1 in the 85th minute.
Norma Cinotti’s shot from outside the box in the 90th minute secured Roma’s sixth goal, and Giugaliano also got in on the action with a brilliant cross in added time.
The win puts Roma five points clear at the top of the table and leaves fourth-placed Fiorentina tied on points with third-placed Inter Milan.
Arsenal 1 – 1 Chelsea
All eyes were on London as Arsenal and Chelsea clashed in the top league clash at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The WSL giants served a truly complete match.
Both sides had great chances in the first half, especially Chelsea’s Lauren James and Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord, but the score remained goalless as they headed into the break.
Arsenal hit the ground running in the second half, coming close to Lina Hurtig’s 53rd chance denied by Zecira Musovic.
Minutes later, Chelsea’s Niamh Charles beat Caitlin Foord in the box. Arsenal captain Kim Little took the penalty and calmly made it 1-0, sending Musovic in the wrong direction.
Opportunities continued to come from Arsenal, who also hit the crossbar in the 73rd minute.
However, Chelsea’s Jelena Cankovic showed off a brilliant ball to Sam Kerr, who provided an equalizing header in the final minutes.
After a 1-1 draw, the visitors remain at the top of the WSL with 28 points while Arsenal are third with 25 points.
The best results of the week
Man Utd 6 – 0 Liverpool
Manchester United jumped to second place in the WSL after beating Liverpool 6-0. Goals from Garcia, Russo, Ladd, Koivisto, Thomas and Williams saw the Red Devils take advantage of the London Derby result.
Atletico Madrid 2 – 2 Villareal
Second from bottom, Villareal secured a very important point with an 87th-minute equalizer against fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who are now slipping away from the top three in the Spanish league.
Soyaux-Charente 0 – 3 Lyon
Lyon were hot on the heels of league leaders PSG with a 3-0 win over Soyaux Charente. The defending league champions remain in second place, just one point behind PSG, who have played the same number of matches.
Women’s soccer schedule for the coming week – January 16-22, 2023
League football continues in England, Italy and France as Spain makes way for Supercup semi-final clashes in midweek. Major international matches are also held, with the hosts of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand taking on the USWNT. Here are our top picks for the coming week.
Tuesday 17 January
- New Zealand v USA – women friendly international match –
**Wednesday January 18th**
- Spanish Super Cup semi-final: Sociedad – Sporting Huelva – 18:30 CET
Thursday 19 January
- Spanish Super Cup semi-final: Barcelona – Real Madrid – 18:30 CET
Friday January 20
- New Zealand v USA – Women Friendly International Match –
Saturday January 21
- Lyon v Montpellier – French Liga 1 Women – 21:00 CET
Sunday 22 January
- Everton v West Ham – English WSL – 13:00 GMT / 14:00 CET
- Parma – Roma – Italian Serie A Women – 12:30 PST