Birmingham stun WSL leaders Arsenal to secure first win of the season

Libby Smith and Veatriki Sarri struck for the Blues.
Birmingham stun WSL leaders Arsenal to secure first win of the season

By Phil Casey, PA

Birmingham 2-0 Arsenal

Birmingham recorded their first win of the season with a shock 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten Women’s Super League leaders Arsenal.

Libby Smith collected a superb pass from Lucy Quinn before firing the home side in front after just three minutes and Veatriki Sarri doubled the lead shortly before the interval after Jade Pennock’s shot was blocked.

Arsenal laboured in vain to get back into the contest and Vivianne Miedema was booked for dissent as their frustration mounted, a first loss of the campaign meaning they remain four points clear of Chelsea in the standings.

Veatriki Sarri
Veatriki Sarri scored Birmingham’s second goal (Jacob King/PA)

Birmingham’s win lifted them off the foot of the table and above Midlands rivals Leicester, who suffered a 1-0 defeat at Reading.

Natasha Dowie scored the only goal of the game after 11 minutes, catching goalkeeper Demi Lambourne off her line with a superb long-range lob.

Dowie had the chance to double the lead from the penalty spot on the half hour after being brought down in the area, but Lambourne pulled off a good save.

Manchester City moved up to fifth in the table courtesy of a 6-0 thrashing of Brighton, with all the goals coming in the second half.

A 48th-minute own goal from Victoria Williams opened the floodgates before Lauren Hemp, Georgia Stanway and Laura Coombs put the result beyond doubt in the space of seven minutes.

Goals from Hayley Raso and Vicky Losada completed the rout for the visitors, who were boosted by the presence of Lucy Bronze for the first time this season following knee surgery.

England captain Steph Houghton also came off the bench for her first appearance since September.

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