Manchester United's title hopes suffered a setback as they were held to a scoreless draw at home by Everton on Sunday, allowing Chelsea to replace them at the top of the Women's Super League table after a cracking 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Later on Sunday, Arsenal failed to maintain ground on Chelsea after a scoreless draw away to West Ham. Chelsea now move into first place on 31 points, two ahead of United and five ahead of Manchester City after 12 games. Arsenal are fourth on 25 points with a game in hand.
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On a frustrating afternoon for United, Ella Toone hit the post in the first half as the home side created several good chances but Everton, fifth in the table, showed steely resolve to keep them at bay.
Everton goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan combined some superb saves with the occasional slice of luck as she kept a clean sheet, with her best stop denying Katie Zelem midway through the second half.
In London, Tottenham striker Beth England scored against her former club but it wasn't enough to stop Chelsea from going back to the top thanks in part to a superb solo goal from Lauren James that helped secure the three points.
England, who joined Spurs from Chelsea in January, cancelled out Jess Carter's eighth-minute opener for the Blues, but James crowned a mazy run from the right wing by drilling a calm finish to put them in front again.
Norwegian Guro Reiten, recently awarded Norway's Golden Ball as the nation's best player in 2022, added a third for Chelsea, who had to endure a nervous finale after Spurs substitute Nikola Karczewska made it 3-2 in the 89th minute.
Later on Sunday, Liverpool climbed to eighth place to put daylight between themselves as the foot of the table following a win over fellow strugglers Reading, who remain 11th, a point behind Brighton but having played three more than the Seagulls.
After a trying run of results last month, Liverpool started well at home but needed over an hour to break the deadlock with a soft effort from Missy Bo Kearns that crawled over the line.
The second followed in swift fashion as Ceri Holland nodded home from close range after Gemma Bonner had helped a trademark Megan Campbell long throw-in along, effectively killing the game in the 65th minute.
In Sunday's final game, Arsenal were held to West Ham, whose goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold pulled off a string of saves to frustrate the Gunners.