By Philip O’Connor
(Reuters) – A record FA Women’s Super League (WSL) crowd of 38,262 saw second-half goals by Arsenal’s Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema give the champions a hard-fought 2-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur in the first top-flight North London derby on Sunday.
Arsenal captain Little broke the deadlock in the 66th minute, chesting down a clearance on the edge of the area before driving home a superb left-foot shot as Spurs’ women played for the first time at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The visitors then used all of their experience to keep an iron grip on the game, and Miedema snuffed out any chance Spurs had of recovering when she latched onto an under-hit back pass to fire Arsenal’s second in the 82nd and wrap up the points.
The crowd was higher than the previous WSL record attendance of 31,213 who watched the Manchester City v Manchester United derby at the Etihad Stadium on the season’s opening weekend.
Another big crowd of 23,500 saw bottom side Liverpool lose 1-0 to Merseyside rivals Everton after Lucy Graham struck just before the break in the first WSL game to be staged at Anfield.
Manchester City’s Georgia Stanway had an eventful afternoon, scoring twice in the first half and getting sent off in the second for two yellow cards as they thrashed West Ham United 5-0 at the Academy Stadium to briefly top the table.
They were the pacesetters for about an hour before Chelsea’s Maren Mjelde converted a second-half penalty to secure a 1-0 win at home to Manchester United.
The victory put the Londoners back in pole position on 16 points after six games, one ahead of City and Arsenal, who are third on goal difference.
Everton are fourth with 12 points ahead of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur on nine.
Reading’s stuttering season continued as they threw away a 3-1 lead against Bristol City, who fought back to draw 3-3, while Brighton & Hove Albion beat visiting Birmingham City 3-0 to notch their first win of the season.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor, additional reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Ken Ferris)