Australia captain Sam Kerr continued her big week for Chelsea, following up her first Women’s Super League hat-trick last weekend with the winner in the Blues’ 1-0 victory at Brighton.
Meanwhile, her fellow Matilda Emily van Egmond was in sharp form for West Ham, scoring one and making another goal in their 4-0 victory at Bristol City.
In midweek, the Guardian newspaper, in its annual definitive list of the world’s top 100 women footballers chosen by leading figures within the sport, relegated Kerr from her top position in 2019 to seventh after some struggles in the English top-flight.
So it was ironic that the list should emerge in the week when the 27-year-old has been reminding everyone again of her rare quality.
Kerr had missed the midweek Champions League fixture in Benfica after receiving an accidental knock when she celebrated her hat-trick of goals against West Ham.
But at Brighton’s Crawley home, she was back where she left off in Kingsmeadow, heading home Pernille Harder’s 21st minute cross to ensure the champions extended their unbeaten league run to 29 matches.
Harder is the brilliant Dane who has taken Kerr’s place at the top of that world’s top 100 list.
Brighton came close to equalising when Inessa Kaagman hit the bar but for Kerr, who took her tally of WSL goals for the season to seven, the only disappointment was that she didn’t convert another couple of late chances that fell her way.
Chelsea are now three points behind Manchester United, who maintained their place at the top with a 2-1 win at Reading.
Caroline Weir scored a last-gasp winner for Manchester City at home to Arsenal that puts them just a point behind the third-placed Gunners, for whom another Matilda Caitlin Foord failed to find the target.
Even while West Ham have been struggling in the league, midfielder van Egmond’s form has rarely dipped in quality and she had another fine afternoon at Bristol City.
First, she volleyed in Rachel Daly’s cross after the break to put the Hammers two up before returning the compliment, setting up Daly to score with a header.
Van Egmond’s third league goal of the season helped the Hammers jump ahead of Aston Villa into 10th place.