Arsenal beat Villa but Chelsea edge closer to WSL title

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – Pernille Harder scored from the spot as Chelsea moved closer to retaining their Women’s Super League title with a 1-0 win over Birmingham City, restoring their four-point lead after Arsenal beat Aston Villa 7-0 earlier on Sunday.

Birmingham defended bravely until the 71st minute when they were penalized for the handball, and Danish striker Harder headed home the kick to claim the three points. A home win against Manchester United in their final game of the season next Sunday will see Chelsea claim their third league title in a row.

Earlier in the day, Vivianne Miedema scored a pair of beaters and Nikita Parris notched her 50th Women’s Super League goal from the penalty spot as second-placed Arsenal hammered Villa to keep the pressure on Chelsea.

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Second-placed Arsenal, who have 49 points, take on Tottenham Hotspur in midweek before ending their league campaign at West Ham.

Earlier today Manchester United cruised to a 3-0 victory over West Ham United to move up to third place above Manchester City, who beat Brighton & Hove Albion 7-2 on Saturday.

Bottom of the table, Leicester earned a 0-0 draw with Reading for what could prove to be a vital point in the relegation battle.

The Foxes have 13 points after 21 games, five ahead of Birmingham, who have one game less against Manchester City in midweek before rounding off against Aston Villa on the final day of the season.

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Reporting by Philip O’Connor; edited by Clare Fallon and Pritha Sarkar

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