@PERNILLEMHARDER
5. ELLA TOONE TAKES THE THRONE

Late in the second half of a scoreless match, Manchester United’s Lauren James splits two Arsenal defenders to deal a stunning slip ball out wide to her teammate Jessica Sigsworth. Sigsworth displays some serious speed as she fends off her defender and drives into the box, playing a perfectly weighted ball to her teammate, Ella Toone. Toone receives the pass and immediately pulls the trigger, sending her shot into the back of the net. In the blink of an eye, Manchester United is up 1-0, not only beating Arsenal, but taking their spot atop the FAWSL standings.

 

4. JANINE BECKIE: FAST AND FURIOUS

Deep in their defensive half, Ellen White of Manchester City strips the ball from Bristol City, initiating a counter-attack and driving to half field. White then threads the needle between two Bristol City defenders with a leading ball to her teammate Janine Beckie. Beckie takes two touches, cutting in toward goal and setting herself up for a calm and collected finish. Beckie’s goal was Manchester City’s seventh in a record-breaking 8-1 victory over Bristol City. White herself earned her 50th goal of her FAWSL career, scoring twice and handing out two assists.

 

3. SANDY MACLVER: THOU SHALL NOT PASS

Bethany England of Chelsea FC receives the ball off a throw-in from the left flank. England takes a touch inside, splitting her two defenders and smashing a shot from outside the 18 before Everton’s defenders can close on her. The bender carries its momentum, heading towards the upper V before Sandy Maclver reads the wicked shot and punches the ball away from danger. Unfortunately, Maclver’s save was not enough as Everton lost 0-4 against the now third-ranked Chelsea FC.

 

2. ANITA ASANTE: SCORING BUCKETS

Caution: extreme levels of tiki-taka ahead. With the outside of her foot, Aston Villa’s Anita Asante plays a beautiful ball into her teammate, Ramona Petzelberger, who scoops the ball over her defender’s foot. Receiving the ball, teammate Shania Hayles back heels it out wide, finding her teammate Stine Larsen, who is stripped by a Brighton defender. The half clearance rolls back to Asante, who cleverly chips the ball over the crowded box full of defenders to find the back post. Asante gifts Aston Villa their first goal of the match, assisting them in a 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

 

1. HARDER HITS ‘EM WITH A LIL’ RAZZLE-DAZZLE

Late in the match, Chelsea’s Melanie Leupolz plays a ball into Pernille Harder, who flexes her skills as she carries inside and cuts around an Everton defender. The 2020 UEFA Player of the Year plays a quick give-and-go, takes a touch, and then lifts her shot into the upper shelf of the back post. In a single play, Harder shows off her quickness, intelligence and power as she maneuvers her way through a sequence of tight spaces before unloading this rocket. Tallying her second goal of the season, Harder lifted Chelsea to a 4-0 shutout against Everton, preserving their undefeated season.