WSL Gameweek 1 Awards: Game of the Week, Goal of the Week, Player of the Week and more

The 2022/23 WSL season kicked off in style at the weekend, with shocks and a selection of spectacular goals.

Champions Chelsea were beaten by newly promoted Liverpool, Aston Villa stunned Manchester City in a seven-goal thriller and both Arsenal and Manchester United ran riot.

Here are the 90-minute WSL awards for Gameweek 1.

Villa register their first win at Aston Villa/Barrington Coombs/GettyImages.

Aston Villa and Manchester City treated the Villa Park faithful to a rollercoaster of blistering pace, seven goals and a surprise result as Carla Ward’s side ran out 4-3 winners.

Villa went 2-0 up thanks to goals from Alisha Lemmon and Rachel Daly, only for City to turn the game on its head with a 3-2 lead 10 minutes into the second half.

But the villa was not to be finished. Kinza Daly and fellow debutant Daly were both on the scoresheet to cap a superb attacking display from the Villa forward line. After finding the back of the net just 13 times in the entirety of last season, Sunday’s match sparked a potential goal-happy campaign for the Villains in 2022/23.

Liverpool stun Chelsea on WSL opening day / Lewis Story / Getty Images

During the 2020/21 season, Liverpool finished third in the Championship while Chelsea won the treble and reached the Champions League final.

A little over a year later and the newly promoted Reds stunned the reigning WSL champions with a 2-1 victory thanks to Katie Stengel’s penalties.

You feared the worst for Liverpool when Fran Kirby opened the scoring for Chelsea from the spot inside three minutes, but Matt Baird showed great defensive resilience to suggest he could be on the mend this season. One can hope for more than just survival.

“Chelsea are a top, top team, and I don’t think anyone expected that today,” Baird said at full-time.

QUE A purpose. @ashnev10 scores with this beautiful strike! #BarclaysWSL

— Barclays Women’s Super League (@BarclaysWSL) September 18, 2022

Ashley Neville netted a goal-of-the-season contender during Spurs’ 2-1 victory over Leicester to open Tottenham’s account for the 2022/23 campaign.

The full-back picked up the ball in the center circle, drove towards goal and launched a superb right-footed strike into the top corner from a full 40 yards.

The goal capped an impressive individual display from Neville and really stole the thunder from team-mate Drew Spence, who also had a fine individual strike from range on his Spurs debut.

Like she never [email protected] gets her first goal for @AVWFCOfficial in the #BarclaysWSL !

— Barclays Women’s Super League (@BarclaysWSL) September 18, 2022

A number of debutants impressed in the WSL this weekend – from Maya Le Tessier to Drew Spence and Kenza Daly – but it was Rachel Daly who shone the most in her side’s shock victory over Manchester City. Showed

The versatile forward bagged a brace – his curling first-half effort picked out the group – while the manner in which he won the ball back for his side’s first goal in the City half showed his tireless work.

“Make no bones about it, she comes in as a forward for us,” Ward said of Daley – often deployed at fullback for England – ahead of the match. “Listen, Rachel Daly is not a defender, not even close to Aston Villa. She is out and out for us.”

Made in the Shape of Her Life / Harriet Lander / Getty Images

Fresh from picking up the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament awards at Euro 2022, Bethmead continued from there, having a hand in three of Arsenal’s four goals in a 4-0 victory over Brighton.

Mead is now the WSL’s opening weekend record goalscorer, taking his tally to seven with a brace against the Seagulls.

The forward picked out Stina Blackstein for Arsenal’s second, before finding the bottom corner for his side’s third and getting the better of two Brighton players as he wrapped up victory with the Gunners’ fourth. The revenge journey continues.

Rising to the top, @alessiarusso7 gets in on the action! #BarclaysWSL @ManUtdWomen

— Barclays Women’s Super League (@BarclaysWSL) September 17, 2022

Manchester United began to stake their claim as the first new team to finish in the WSL’s top three since 2015 with an electric first-half performance against Reading.

United raced into a 4-0 lead inside just 35 minutes, with Katie Zelm wreaking havoc from set pieces while Maya Le Tessier bagged a brace. Zelem himself was on the scoresheet from the penalty spot, and Ona Batley impressed with a pinpoint delivery over Rossouw’s head as United were home and dry by half-time.

“We could have finished the whole game in the first half,” Mark Skinner said. “But what I want from the second half is that I want us to be as ruthless as we were in the first half. We put Reading in a position where they couldn’t get anything out of the game, and that All the credit was ours.”

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