Chelsea thrash United to seal WSL; Liverpool rise; Lyon win

Is Emma Hayes the GOAT of women's football management? (1:27)

Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens believe Emma Hayes had the perfect send off after Chelsea beat Manchester United and won their fifth WSL title in a row. (1:27)

For the fourth season in a row, the Women's Super League (WSL) title race went down to the last day. And for the fourth time in a row, Chelsea emerged victorious to claim their fifth-consecutive trophy as legendary manager Emma Hayes bowed out in style.

Elsewhere, the top six of Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton, and Tottenham all ran out winners to keep the WSL table unchanged from how it stood heading into the last matchday, while Lyon claimed yet another title after the inaugural playoff final in France.

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Chelsea triumph; Man United abysmal

There are few teams in the world as good as staying the course, grinding through games and getting across the finish line as Emma Hayes' Chelsea. Going into the final game against Man United level on points with Man City, knowing all they needed to do was equal or better their rivals' result to claim the title, the ball was always in the Blues' court. But they signed off in style with a 6-0 thrashing of United at Old Trafford.

With club-record signing Mayra Ramírez virtually unstoppable as she came back from injury to lead the charge -- helping herself to two goals in a 4-0 first-half performance -- Chelsea were ruthlessly dominant and achingly clinical. The focus was always going to be on them, and departing manager Hayes in her final game before she takes charge of the USWNT, but it's hard to get away from just how poor United were.

Yes, United's season was all but done -- they had won the FA Cup last weekend and faced an improbable situation to claim fourth spot from Liverpool -- but their defence offered little resistance and was completely overwhelmed by Chelsea from the early stages.

Having taken a big step last season to lean into their defensive core and go toe-to-toe with the top three to finish second, this capitulation against the eventual champions was dire and spoke to how far United have regressed this season.

City lose their way in front of goal

City had a chance to win their first WSL title since 2016, but it was always going to require either a Chelsea stumble or a huge scoreline to tip the scales on goal difference.

Gareth Taylor's attack, who had been so consistent this year, needed to be at their best in Villa's box but looked lost without injured WSL top-scorer Bunny Shaw to lead the line. Mary Fowler's opener could have opened the floodgates, but Villa's defence stayed compact and with Anna Leat resolute between the sticks, City couldn't find their finishing touch to add the goals they needed.

Lauren Hemp did eventually find a winner to seal a 2-1 victory, but the title battle had already been lost based on events at Old Trafford. Unlike Chelsea, City don't have the history of fighting and scrapping -- the season they won the title was one they went through unbeaten -- and if they want the same type of success the men's team have found, they need to develop a winning mentality.

Villa, for their part, did well to withstand the pressure from the visitors but were unable to give manager Carla Ward the send-off she deserved. The club have come far under her leadership over the last few years but, with her successor yet to be announced, are heading into a period of uncertainty.

Arsenal finish on a high

The Jonas Eidevall era at Arsenal has seen many good results and performances, as well as some silverware, but it's also been deeply inconsistent -- one of the reasons the Gunners finished five points adrift in third.

In a season which has seen record crowd growth for the London team and a Conti Cup title, Arsenal were rampant in their final game, beating a forlorn Brighton 5-0 in club-legend Vivianne Miedema's last game. It was one-way traffic after Alessia Russo's first-half double and Miedema was able to get herself on the scoresheet one final time at Borehamwood with her first touch after coming off the bench, before setting up Frida Maanum late on to remind everyone of her quality.

Although it's clear she isn't in Eidevall's plans, the club and manager have now reached a potential crossroads. Questions have been raised over why Arsenal weren't interested in keeping the 27-year-old, who is set to reach her peak after recovering from long-term injury, around next season and they will have to make some strides to close the gap on the top two.

Brighton, meanwhile, have struggled after a summer of heavy recruitment and investment and, after the sacking of Melissa Phillips in February, haven't looked settled under interim manager Mikey Harris. For a team who had lofty goals, it looks like a return to the drawing board is needed if they want to compete at the top level.

Liverpool cement fourth

Over the years there have been plenty of teams out of reach of the traditional top three (Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City) but pushing to finish in the top four, before slipping back the following season. While Man United have consistently set themselves apart from the rest, Liverpool are now well placed to make it a five-horse race.

In just their second season back in the WSL, Matt Beard's Reds had a solid campaign to finish fourth and their 4-0 win over Leicester City showed as much about them as the opposition. Ahead early through Sophie Román Haug, they didn't find a cushion until after the hour when Leanne Kiernan came on and fired in a hat trick. There is still a long way to go for the Merseysiders to regularly challenge those above them, but their growth has been substantial.

The match also marked Leicester's eight consecutive game without a win and, although relegation never really threatened the Foxes, it was a forgettable end to the season for a team with sizable potential. How they rebound following the dismissal of Willie Kirk in April could define their term future.

Spurs claim first win of the month

Following the disappointing FA Cup final loss to Man United, and a narrow 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in midweek, it was key for Spurs to end what has been a noteworthy campaign on a high. And, after a 3-1 win over West Ham United, it feels like a lot of the pieces are in place for manager Robert Vilahamn next season. Bethany England's half-volley in the fourth minute opened the scoring and after West Ham's equaliser they found a way back through Jess Naz, before Drew Spence scored the goal of the day with a rocket from range. Sixth place and 31 points certainly feels like a success after last season's struggles against relegation netted them 18.

For second-from-bottom West Ham, it's hard to see the season in much of a positive light. There has been improvement as Rehanne Skinner added some talent to the team but with four managers and six campaigns in the WSL behind them, there is a question over their long-term sustainability in the top flight.

Toffees deepen Robins' misery

Already relegated after a bruising return to the WSL saw them finish with one win and six points in total, there was little Bristol City could do when Everton turned up with their shooting boots on to seal a 4-0 win. It was a convincing win for Brian Sørensen's team, with four different scorers, and a nod to what is possible under the Danish manager, whose hands have been tied by significant injury issues all season.

But it was an unhappy punctuation mark at the end of a long season for Lauren Smith. The Robins are a cautionary tale for any team promoted from the Championship as the gulf between the two leagues only seems to be growing.

Lyon claim 17th title

France's Division 1 Féminine wrapped up on Friday with its' first playoff final to decide the league winner. Ultimately there were few surprises, either over who was in the final -- Lyon and PSG both came through semifinals against fourth-placed Stade de Reims and third-placed Paris FC respectively -- or Lyon's eventual 2-1 win.

It was the 17th time in 18 seasons that Lyon have lifted the title (PSG in 2021 the only outlier) as Delphine Cascarino rubberstamped her return to form with the opening goal before former PSG star Kadidiatou Diani added quick-fire second. Tabitha Chawinga's second-half strike gave PSG some hope, but Lyon did what they do so well and closed out the game.

For Lyon, the match may act as a useful warm-up ahead of their Champions League final against Barcelona on Saturday evening, although the Catalans will be a very different prospect to face.