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New WSL season gets underway as Tottenham impress

With the all five of the six WSL matches over the opening weekend being decided by just one goal – Bristol City’s clash with Brighton the exception as a 0-0 draw – the league is shaping up to be one of the most competitive of recent times. Even the matches that saw two of last season’s top three pitted against the two who’ve just come up from the second tier were nail-biters to the end.

As well as close games, fans were treated to a stunning array of goal of the season contenders from Caroline Weir’s measured strike to open the season to Fara Williams’ inch perfect freekick, Beth Mead’s curler and Beth England’s thunderbolt. Similarly, the goalkeepers earned high praise with most pulling off acrobatic or gravity defying saves to keep their teams in games.

Across the league, no team looked out of place although the season starting only just after an international break may have taken the edge off of the teams many expect will be fighting for the title. Yet, there is still a clear rise in the level of the teams who are likely to be away from the silverware; the gaps narrowing across the league.

Of the six matches and 12 teams, there are few who stood out like Spurs. Although the team has strengthened over the summer, just as they did when they first earned promotion to the Championship, they still have a core group of players that dates back to their National League days. Unlike others, the Lilywhites have approached they promotions incrementally, pacing their rise to the top tier – a, “slow and steady wins the race” approach.

A team who got soundly beaten by Arsenal in pre-season, many feared another 6-0 was on the cards when England left Becky Spencer stunned four minutes into the clash, yet a second goal failed to come for the hosts. Not letting their heads drop, Spurs dug in, doing little more than holding Chelsea off for the first 20 minutes before they finally found a rhythm to launch counterattacks.

Still in the game at the break, the visitors came out confidently for the second half, attacking towards the loud cluster of their fans, the noise levels rose when they approached the box, keeping the Blues’ defence honest. With a steady back and forth between the two teams, a touch more composure or luck would have seen the spoils shared at the Bridge. The gap between the two teams, one who had taken Lyon to the limit in their Champions League semi-final earlier in the year, the other who had been on the wrong side of a 6-1 scoreline against Durham last season, far smaller than anyone would have anticipated.

Bottom of the table on spelling alone, the team many predicated would be in a scrap to save their necks this season might not have a point to show for their endeavours at Stamford Bridge but have already shown their calibre.

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