The Women’s Super League title will be decided on the final day of the season after Arsenal’s victory over rivals Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium ensured they remained in contention.
Beth Mead’s goal and a Caitlin Foord double helped Arsenal move one point off leaders Chelsea with one game left.
The Gunners need to better Chelsea’s result on the final day to lift the trophy.
Chelsea are aiming to be the first team to win a third successive WSL title.
It was set up to be a frenetic and nervy affair between two north London rivals at the Emirates and an explosive start saw Mead allowed the space to fire in the opener within four minutes.
Moments before, Jessica Naz had come close for Spurs after Maeva Clemaron got the better of the experienced Kim Little down the left wing.
Tottenham almost responded immediately when striker Kyah Simon could not bundle it over from a corner and was denied twice by Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema on the goal-line.
The hosts began to pile the pressure on as Leah Williamson’s impressive passing caused problems from the back and Foord forced several saves from goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela.
Miedema also came close but Tottenham remained in the game, making for a nervous second half until Foord confirmed victory with a sliding finish at the back post, before curling in a stunning third for Arsenal.
Emotions flared following some heavy challenges in midfield and Tottenham almost got a late consolation when Angela Addison missed from the penalty spot in stoppage time but the job was already done for Jonas Eidevall’s side.
It means the WSL title will be decided on a the final day of the season between two sides who began the campaign with a fiery encounter at the Emirates – that day, victory went to Arsenal.
The Gunners are bidding to win their first piece of silverware since 2019, while Chelsea are hoping to win a double as they also prepare to face Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley on 15 May.
Arsenal travel to Dagenham to play West Ham on Sunday, while Chelsea host Manchester United.
Poised for dramatic WSL finale
Eidevall’s first season at Arsenal and in the WSL could not have been more eventful.
His first game in charge saw the Gunners stun Chelsea with an impressive 3-2 win at the Emirates, before the Blues got their revenge in the delayed 2020-21 FA Cup final in December.
The two sides have been battling it out for the title ever since, losing just three games between them in the WSL all season.
It seemed inevitable the two would take it to the wire and Arsenal never really looked like slipping up against their local rivals Tottenham.
The home fans at the Emirates, though clearly nervous in the first half, burst out in sporadic chants of “Arsenal” as they pushed their side on.
England captain Williamson tapped the Arsenal badge as she came off with minutes remaining and their job on the final day of the season is clear – beat West Ham and they have a chance of winning the league.
For Spurs, the defeat means they are now winless in seven WSL games but they remain on course to finish in their highest position in the league table.
They host second-bottom Leicester City in their final match on Sunday hoping to consolidate fifth place.
- 16MaritzSubstituted forWienroitherat 87′minutes
- 6WilliamsonSubstituted forBeattieat 87′minutes
- 9MeadSubstituted forParrisat 88′minutes
- 19FoordSubstituted forMaanumat 83′minutes
- 25BlacksteniusSubstituted forMcCabeat 68′minutesBooked at 73mins
- 7NazSubstituted forLaneat 69′minutes
- 4GreenBooked at 73mins
- 21ClemaronBooked at 74mins
- 17SimonBooked at 24minsSubstituted forSummanenat 45′minutesBooked at 57mins
- 10WilliamsSubstituted forChoat 72′minutes
- 23AyaneSubstituted forAddisonat 80′minutes
Match ends, Arsenal Women 3, Tottenham Hotspur Women 0.
Second Half ends, Arsenal Women 3, Tottenham Hotspur Women 0.
Katie McCabe (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Isabella Lane (Tottenham Hotspur Women).
Penalty missed! Still Arsenal Women 3, Tottenham Hotspur Women 0. Angela Addison (Tottenham Hotspur Women) hits the left post with a right footed shot.
Penalty conceded by Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal Women) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Tottenham Hotspur Women. Angela Addison draws a foul in the penalty area.
Attempt missed. Nikita Parris (Arsenal Women) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stephanie-Elise Catley with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Isabella Lane.
Attempt saved. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Laura Wienroither.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Nikita Parris replaces Beth Mead.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Jennifer Beattie replaces Leah Williamson.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Laura Wienroither replaces Noëlle Maritz.
Attempt blocked. Frida Maanum (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Vivianne Miedema.
Beth Mead (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ashleigh Neville (Tottenham Hotspur Women).
Hand ball by Katie McCabe (Arsenal Women).
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Frida Maanum replaces Caitlin Foord.
Goal! Arsenal Women 3, Tottenham Hotspur Women 0. Caitlin Foord (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Beth Mead.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur Women. Angela Addison replaces Rosella Ayane because of an injury.