Caitlin Foord seems determined not to let her Matildas captain Sam Kerr too far out of her sights in the cross-London battle for the Women's Super League title.
The Warilla junior continued her fine form on Sunday (Monday AEDT), netting her second goal of the season in Arsenal's 3-0 win at Brighton which keeps the Gunners hot on the heels of Kerr's Chelsea, their great capital rivals.
Foord's excellent long-range curler in the 80th minute settled a few Arsenal nerves after they had failed to ram home their early advantage gained when Stina Blackstenius cashed in on some poor home defending in the 12th minute.
In front of a record sell-out crowd of 4921 at Brighton's Broadfield Stadium, Frida Maanum then wrapped up the three points for the Gunners with a stoppage-time third.
"It was a tough one out there," Foord told Arsenal's club website.
"It took us a little bit of time, but we knew that if we fought the goals would come, and though they came a bit later than we would have expected, we were really focused in wanting to get a clean sheet tonight and we did that, so we're happy.
Of her goal, she explained: "They just turned the ball over, I had space in front of me and thought I'd take a shot and it went in the back of the net".
"I'm always happy to see that happen," Foord said.
It was Arsenal's fifth straight win in the Women's Super League, and sixth in all competitions, and they're now clearly Chelsea's leading challengers, just three points adrift of the Blues, who had beaten Liverpool 5-1 on Saturday.
Mary Fowler's hopes of starting in the eagerly-awaited Manchester derby never materialised as she was left on the bench and only brought on in the 89th minute with her City side effectively already having wrapped up a 3-1 win over United, even though they'd been reduced to 10 players late in the game.
In front of a record 43,615 crowd for a Manchester United WSL match, the home side had led through Katie Zelem's penalty but an impressive City outfit featuring Alanna Kennedy scored twice inside a minute through Jill Roord and Lauren Hemp, before Khadija Shaw made it 3-1.
Despite Laia Aleixandri being shown a red card for a second bookable offence after a foul on Lucia Garcia, City held on to move into third place, leapfrogging City but still six points behind Chelsea.
West Ham's Matildas' keeper Mackenzie Arnold was beaten by a brilliant stoppage-time winner from last season's Golden Boot winner Rachel Daly as Aston Villa snatched a 3-2 win. Bristol City twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Clare Wheeler's struggling Everton at Walton Hall Park.
- Australian Associated Press
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