Both Manchester clubs picked up wins in the Women’s League Cup on Sunday. Casey Stoney’s United side made short work of their trip to Everton, dispatching their hosts 3-0 thanks to goals from Lauren James, Katie Zelem and Amy Turner, while also in Group C City saw off Birmingham 2-1, a superb strike from Caroline Weir and a first goal in a City shirt for the World Cup Golden Boot winner, Ellen White – against her former club – coming either side of Rachel Williams’ equaliser.
Durham and Sheffield United each registered four-goal wins in Group A, Katie Wilkinson’s double helping the South Yorkshire club past Blackburn and Beth Hepple doing the same against Coventry to help maintain Durham’s three-point lead at the summit.
Arsenal tasted penalty shootout defeat at Brighton but the holders remain at the top of Group B despite the loss. A goalless 90 minutes on the south coast was settled when Beth Mead blazed over from the spot and allowed Brighton to climb up to third in the table, two points behind the beaten leaders.
The other two fixtures in the group also had to be decided the hard way, London Bees edging past Charlton on penalties after another stalemate, while Bristol City met the same fate against second-tier London City Lionesses, who prevailed on penalties despite seeing Leanne Cowan’s early strike cancelled out by Charlie Wellings on the hour.
And in Group D Alisha Lehmann’s second-half tap-in was the difference as West Ham edged past Reading, yet her side remain a point behind third-placed Tottenham, who strolled to a 3-0 win at Crystal Palace, late goals from Kit Graham and Lucy Guinn making it safe after Anna Filbey’s early opener.