Claudia Walker of Birmingham City celebrates scoring the 1st goal Aston Villa Women v Birmingham City Women FA WSL football match, Villa Park, Birmingham, UK - 14 Nov 2020 Photo: Paul Currie for The FA

Three things learnt from day one of Women’s Football Weekend ’20

Saturday’s Women’s Football Weekend ’20 fixtures produced lots of drama, excitement and talking points with 11 goals scored across the four matches.

There were thrilling comebacks for Manchester United and Bristol City, a Second City derby victory for Birmingham City while Everton and Reading battled to a hard-fought draw.

Ahead of the second day of fixtures, FA Women’s Super League Full-Time take a look at three things that we learnt from yesterday’s matches.

Manchester United have the mentality and ability to maintain a title challenge

Casey Stoney’s Manchester United side were blown away by Manchester City during the first half of yesterday’s 2-2 derby draw at The Leigh Sports Village.¬†With City 2-0 up at the break, United looked to be dead and buried with 45 minutes left to play.

United have developed significantly during the last 15 months though and what they are proving this season is that they are more than capable of mixing it with the elite. After taking points from Chelsea and Arsenal so far this season, Stoney’s side added Manchester City to that list with second half goals from Tobin Heath and Kirsty Hanson rescuing a point for The Red Devils.

Stoney’s side displayed great character, class and ultimately, the required mentality to become serious Barclays FA Women’s Super League title challengers. With United having taken points from all of the big three on home soil, their title bid will very much depend on their performances in the away fixtures in 2021.

Birmingham City’s Claudia Walker is back to her best

Prior to this season, it had been a tough couple of years for Birmingham City forward Claudia Walker. Certainly since her hamstring injury sustained late in 2017, goals have been hard to come by for the former England Under-23 international forward.

Walker has returned to her best form this season and has thrived so far in the Carla Ward era at Birmingham City. The player went into yesterday’s Second City derby at Villa Park having scored in each of the Blues’ last four games in all competitions. With the match against Villa well and truly deadlocked, Walker made it five goals in five games, thumping the ball into the roof of the net to hand her side both a 1-0 victory and the Second City bragging rights.

The forward looks to be on top of her game right now and is a huge asset for Birmingham City as they continue to make great strides under new boss Ward.

The Barclays FA Women’s Super League should be taken seriously by the critics

Even in 2020, we are still fighting to get some areas of the football world to give the Barclays FA Women’s Super League the credit that it is due.

Women’s Football Weekend continues to provide a great opportunity to showcase the women’s game and attract new viewers from both the UK and across the world.

What Saturday’s games highlighted is the fact that the days of huge winning margins and numerous individual errors have gone, the Barclays FA Women’s Super League is now a professional game, a competitive league, which stands proudly alongside the men’s professional leagues.

With three score draws and an away win by a single goal margin, all four matches were hinged on a knife edge until the very final whistle, offering great entertainment and excitement to the general public watching at home.

Now is the time for the critics and internet trolls to take the game more seriously. As a product, the Barclays FA Women’s Super League is moving forward and is only going to get bigger and better as time goes on.

Sunday’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixtures see West Ham United take on Brighton & Hove Albion while Arsenal face Chelsea. There is also a full card of matches in the FA Women’s Championship.

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