It was another pulsating weekend of FA WSL action, with Chelsea clinching London bragging rights with a late win over Arsenal and Manchester City continuing their flawless run of form with victory over Birmingham.
And in another round of high-scoring fixtures there were several eye-catching performances on display, with Manchester United also winning at Tottenham and Reading toppling Everton in a thriller in Buckinghamshire.
But on a weekend where the dynamic at the top of the table underwent a considerable shift following Arsenal’s defeat, here are our three standout players who helped guide their team to glory.
Chelsea’s dramatic win over defending champions Arsenal will long be remembered for Maria Thorisdottir’s late strike, but it was Ji So-yun who was the key protagonist for the hosts and consistently caused problems for Joe Montemurro’s side all afternoon.
Ji was a continual thorn in Arsenal’s side, receiving the ball on the half-turn on multiple occasions and relentlessly looking to move it quickly and crisply to create openings for her team-mates.
Chelsea’s No. 10 was visible all over the Kingsmeadow pitch, combining well with England international Fran Kirby and almost notching an assist when Beth England failed to connect with her eye-of-the-needle cross.
Ji was also terrier-like out of possession, fighting tenaciously to win the ball back whenever her side lost it and sparking several attacks high up the pitch to terrorise an Arsenal defence, who simply had no answers to her brilliance.
And while it was not Ji who eventually got the winning goal – she was replaced by Drew Spence on 83 minutes – the experienced South Korean international was nothing short of sensational on what was a memorable afternoon for Emma Hayes’ side.
It may have been a game characterised by turbulence and end-to-end football, but it was Jade Moore’s two goals for Reading that really set the tone for the Royals’ triumph at home to Everton.
Midfielder Moore landed two early blows to put the hosts in the lead twice, the first coming after just seven minutes when she bravely nodded in Fara Williams’ well-placed curling free-kick.
Despite the Toffees getting an equaliser just three minutes later through Chloe Kelly, Moore could not keep herself out of the action, regaining the lead for her side on 17 minutes when she once again demonstrated her aerial prowess to head home a Williams cross once again.
And although a Lucy Graham penalty restored parity for Willie Kirk’s team midway through the first-half it was Norwegian international Laura-Marie Utland who secured the points for the hosts, a victory set up by Moore’s early heroics.
Moore was also assured in possession in what was a compelling contest in Buckinghamshire, laying the foundations for her resurgent side who now sit just four points off second-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.
She may have not got on the scoresheet herself, but Manchester United winger Leah Galton posed a continual threat in her side’s win against Tottenham as she reaped havoc among the home side’s defence.
It was Galton’s cross that created the confusion leading to Ashleigh Neville’s second-half own goal, running down the Spurs flank with pace and purpose and delivering a low ball that was simply too much for Neville to deal with.
And such a moment embodied Galton’s performance throughout the whole game, providing an enterprising dynamism and directness that gave the away side a consistent attacking outlet.
Her efforts were almost rewarded with a goal after her shot – that came after some skilful chest control to bring the ball down – flew wide of Spurs keeper Rebecca Spencer’s post, but it was not quite to be for a player who was so influential in helping engineer United’s promotion to the top flight last season.
But it nevertheless remained a dazzling display from Galton, who will look to take her momentum with her going into the rest of the season.