The women’s Super League leaders Chelsea retained the lead by two points with a 6-0 win over Birmingham, but Manchester City responded with a win of their own.
In form Sam Kerr scored a hat trick in the first half as Chelsea left struggling Birmingham behind.
The Blues had to wait until the 25th minute to break the impasse when Erin Cuthbert hit an angled drive that forced Hannah Hampton to save just for Kerr to convert the ricochet at close range.
At halftime, Chelsea doubled their lead with Australia international Kerr, who was quick to react to bundle a header past Hampton.
Pernille Harder’s header hit the post but Chelsea scored the third goal after Cuthbert scored a wonderful cross that hit Kerr, whose header at the far post completed her hat trick.
There was no slacking off from Emma Hayes’ side after the break and they scored a fourth goal on the right after a great builder between Niamh Charles and Bethany England. Fran Kirby, who shot the ball into the net in the 61st minute
Kirby then became a provider, taking a low cross to find Guro Riding, who converted to give Chelsea their fifth goal of the game.
Chelsea added their sixth late goal from England star Kirby, who stormed brilliantly into the box and made a curling attempt past Hampton.
Manchester city With a 3-0 win at, they kept their hopes for the title in the women’s Super League upright Tottenham Hotspur.
Runner-up City took the lead in the fifth minute with an own goal from Rebecca Spencer, and Janine Beckie scored an excellent second to end a full counterattack in the 38th minute. Caroline Weir added a third just after the hour.
Everton For the first time since October there were two wins in a row with a 3-1 win over the women in the Super League Aston Villa in Walton Hall Park.
Goals from Lucy Graham, Izzy Christiansen and Simone Magill gave Willie Kirk’s side three points in a game with two penalties and an illegal goal on Easter Sunday.
Inessa Kaagman scored the only goal in sixth Brighton avenged their heavy 3-0 defeat in October Manchester United with a 1-0 triumph over Casey Stony’s side in Crawley.
arsenal moved up to third place in the WSL table after the win Bristol City 4-0 with two goals from Vivianne Miedema.
Danielle van de Donk and Beth Mead were also featured in a dominant away performance on the match report.
Hayes: Kerr ‘gazelle’ in the box
Emma Hayes applauded Chelsea’s professional performance and singled out Kerr for special compliments.
“The third goal I thought would jump out of the stadium,” said Hayes.
“She delivers the fatal blow exactly when the team needs it. These games can be difficult if you don’t score the first goal, but like a cat or a gazelle, she leaps into the right moments.
“Her confidence and intelligence are growing week by week and deserve a hat trick.
“It was an achievement that the entire squad contributed equally and everyone had to be on the same level.
“This was the first game of the season where I thought no matter who I played there would be no drop in standards.”
“These games can be difficult if we don’t score the first goal early enough.
“To win the title we have to win every game, which is always a challenge given our schedule. So we will fight to the end.”