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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

WSL team of the week: gameweek 11

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It was a mixed weekend for the WSL, with three fixtures falling foul to the frozen conditions: Tottenham vs Leicester was called off the evening before the match, Brighton vs Arsenal three-and-a-half hours before, and Chelsea vs Liverpool…six minutes after kick-off.


This left three games standing, with Everton running out impressive 3-0 winners over West Ham, Aston Villa holding Manchester City to a draw and Manchester United netting a last gasp winner against a spirited Reading to rise to the WSL summit.

But which players shone in particular? Here’s 90min’s WSL team of the week for gameweek 11.

Megan Finnigan

Finnigen helped Everton to all three points on Sunday / Visionhaus/GettyImages

GK: Jacqueline Burns (Reading) – Burns pulled off a selection of fine saves – including a magnificent stop to deny Katie Zelem from the penalty spot – to keep Manchester United at bay until the 87th minute, and was really unfortunate to be on the losing side on Sunday.

RB: Lucy Hope (Everton) – Everton’s right flank was a real source of danger all afternoon against West Ham, with Hope combining well with the similarly impressive Nicoline Sorensen. A typically all action performance as she continues to look right at home at fullback, winning 75% of her tackles and 86% of her ground duels to help her side to a clean sheet.

CB: Maya Le Tissier (Man Utd) – Typically composed and strong on the ball to help United build from the back. Le Tissier also turned in a really solid defensive performance, winning 100% of her tackles and ground duels to see her side to a clean sheet and three points as they climbed into first place.

CB: Megan Finnigan (Everton) – A perfect afternoon for the Everton centre-back; rock solid in the heart of the backline as the Toffees registered their fourth WSL clean sheet of the season, impressive playing out from the back and on the scoresheet with her side’s second courtesy of a bullet header from a corner.

LB: Sarah Mayling (Aston Villa) – Both full-backs turned in terrific displays for Villa as they held Manchester City, with Maz Pacheco similarly impressive on the opposite flank up against Lauren Hemp. The tenacious Mayling did a terrific defensive job on Chloe Kelly, nullifying the threat of the usually destructive England winger to starve Bunny Shaw of service as City struggled to threaten the Villa goal.

Kenza Dali

Dali impressed against Man City / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

CM: Justine Vanhaevermaet (Reading) – Sitting just in front of the Reading back four, Vanhaevermaet turned in a disciplined performance to limit the impact of Ella Toone in the number 10 role for Manchester United. She won 83% of her tackles, made four clearances in a big defensive display and even went close to scoring twice.

CM: Kenza Dali (Aston Villa) – Aston Villa won the midfield battle against Manchesrer City, and Dali was key to that in an effortlessly classy performance alongside the similarly impressive Lucy Staniforth. The French midfielder carried the ball so effectively and dangerously time after time and combined well with Rachel Daly in the build up to the Villa opener. What a season she is having.

CM: Karen Holmgaard (Everton) – Set the tone for the Toffees by opening the scoring after just three minutes, getting the better of two West Ham bodies to power home a header from a short corner. Won plenty defensively to protect the Everton backline and was neat and tidy in possession.

Rachel Williams

Williams netted the all important winner for United / Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

FW: Jess Park (Everton) – Continued her mightily impressive season with yet another effervescent display, setting up Everton’s opener by working a yard of space for herself and sending in a wicked cross from a short corner. Her decision making and selflessness in the final third shone throughout.

ST: Rachel Williams (Man Utd) – Williams clocked up as many minutes in normal time as the abandoned Chelsea vs Liverpool fixture…but she had such an impact from the bench against Reading, scoring arguably one of the best and definitely the most important goal of the weekend. The Manchester United striker weaved past three Reading defenders before emphatically finding the roof of the net to fire her side to the top of the WSL.

FW: Kirsty Hanson (Aston Villa) – An electric performance from the Villa winger, causing Esme Morgan all sorts of problems in the first half with her pace and directness. Levelled the scores with a really well taken goal – despite slipping as she took the shot – to earn her side an impressive point at the Academy Stadium, and unfortunate to not double her tally in the second half after cracking the post.

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