Score crowds, op drama, stumble Man City and Chelsea

In theory, there is something magical about the new season. Stick with me here: We always talk about “magic of the cup” and the idea of ​​a small team taking a great ride across the country, working their way through the competition to get into the land of good prize money. We think about how, for 90 minutes, any team could beat any other, and the same goes for the major leagues as we sing lyrics about unknown players making a name for themselves in one strong summer.

League football has never been met with the same vague ideal because a magical 90 minutes can only equal three points, which doesn’t define the season in isolation. However, league football is the thing that makes all these major competitions possible; It is the place where players from all over the world can make fields for themselves, and spend all season loving themselves to the local fans or proving themselves to the coaches of their national teams.

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If cup competitions are a vacation, league football is the intimacy of home. Finally, after an unforgettable summer, women’s top-flight football in England is back in the Women’s Super League, albeit a week late due to the temporary suspension of all football matches following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Launching a new site

No longer kicking off at Tottenham Hotspur’s luxury home in north London, the season began instead in the usual home of London’s Lillewight rival, Arsenal, on Friday, giving the 2022-23 season opener that glorious touch of the match under the lights.

In many ways, little has changed: It was still the same old Meadow Park (under the nickname LV BET Stadium), the home of Borehamwood FC. It was the same old Arsenal squad in strength, and the same old Arsenal fans ready to bellow, “KIMMY, KIMMY, KIMMY, OI, OI, OI!” When Little Kim was on the ball. But the stands were full, the seats took a full 60 minutes before kick-off, and both stands were similarly full.

He’s not entirely an exception to the ground itself when Arsenal play, but he rarely ordinarily refers to Chelsea or Tottenham in contender. The evening games have always been a tough sell for the World Series of Poker, but we were all, warming our hands, rubbing our shoulders everywhere you looked as Arsenal took a 4-0 win.

Arbitration without VAR technology sets the course

The new season saw his first booking – in fact, his first red card – long before his first goal when Brighten’s Emma Kohlberg snapped Stena Blackstein’s heel as the forward slashed towards the opponent’s goal.

There was an offside issue, which took absent journalists a lot with the FA player – a free platform provided for fans to watch matches not selected for broadcast – to find the freeze frame at the right moment to show marginal infringement. The still image was swiped between those covering the game and then shared via Twitter only to reach the full-time travel team’s gleaming smartphones – in fact, Brighton have already lodged an appeal against the red card.

This was set to be the first of a series of fringe offside calls, both reported and unreported, over the weekend that could have seriously impacted their respective matches. Since Friday’s opening game, there has been an appeal of an offside in preparation for the foul that led to Manchester United’s penalty against Reading. So, too, was the flag hoisted over Liverpool’s home at Brenton Park, when Sam Kerr played over Niamh Fahey’s shoulder to Reds goalkeeper, Rachel Luz – judging by the player’s boot position, replays indicated it was a small part of the field.

They were big decisions, and none of them considered a huge mistake, but they carry added drama in a world where football fans are accustomed to seeing a “VAR Decision” plastered across screens in matches with multiple lines drawn across the field of play. With vertical dotted lines showing that a defender’s armpit might play an attacker on the other side, there’s a bit of common sense gone out of the game.

In fact, during and after the first weekend of the 2021-22 season, VAR was called up in the WSL after two potential game-changing decisions were disputed. As it stands, the game will continue unaided with video during matches, but PGMOL will continue to review every WSL match with extreme scrutiny.

Back in Borehamwood, a tearing stream pushed Arsenal’s attack against Brighton Dam until it broke. In a match that has always been likely to focus heavily on Arsenal’s attack against Brighton’s defence, the Seagulls were reduced to 10 men after just seven minutes into the game completely lopsided. Arsenal finished the match with four goals to emerge from their total of 38 shots, and Brighton’s defense was far from infallible but far from credible.

When the second game of the season ended with the same scoreline 4-0 after Manchester United sent off emphatically with Reading, there was a sense of dread. The weekend fixture wasn’t intended to be a curtain line, and looked like a model for WSL’s power dynamics. With the exception of West Ham vs Everton, every match was threatened to be out of balance with an expected winner.

Shocks and surprises

He rolled on Sunday and brought his last four games of the week with him. Aston Villa, who have not taken even a point from Manchester City in the past, were at home to Champions League players, but the old idea of ​​not getting the warrant best described their start. It was Alicia Lehmann’s low drive after a tight spin and a superb shot from Rachel Daly that put the hosts at the top, though bewilderment from Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton gave the visitors a way back into the match.

With questions swirling about the City side after a slew of summer excursions, the narrative refused to remain on hold for the Nationals and their chaos became a powerful figure after they finally woke up and dragged themselves forward in the West Midlands, with Laura Combs’ second goal less likely to arrive. More than two minutes after the equalizer made by Khadija Shaw. However, that didn’t last as City caused all his problems, unable to handle Fia’s clever press and well-timed attacks and the hosts netted a very unexpected 4-3 win.

After Tottenham beat Leicester City with two outrageous goals and West Ham beat Everton, all eyes turned to newly promoted Liverpool against Chelsea.

Having conceded a penalty less than 60 seconds before the match, Liverpool managed to cope with Chelsea’s failure to find a cushion or much of their usual rhythm in attack. One penalty converted by Katie Stengel (awarded after a handball in the penalty area) became late in the game after the striker was brought down by Chelsea’s new central defender, Qadisha Buchanan. The late rally of the Blues hasn’t been enough to claim a draw, although the current champions are no strangers to a winless start to the season.

Crowd growing

The crowd may have looked small on paper – 6785 at Villa Park, for example, well short of capacity – but it completely blew away the previous record for women’s team attendance at Aston Villa. Similarly, 3,238 may not seem like much to Arsenal, but it was a sellout in Hertfordshire and one of the recurring phrases across the women’s game is that teams need to sell their regular homes before considering a move to a bigger venue.

This summer there was a boom in interest in women’s football in England, and almost immediately, league teams reported a huge improvement in season ticket sales, however the problem is the continued interest.

With the newer streaming deals in place, tee times are often more favorable for armchair lovers than those who will have to battle the untold joys of English train travel. On top of that, there was a noticeable chill in the air over the weekend – the Swedish journalist who was by my side for the Arsenal game couldn’t keep her teeth from chattering – and when the weather gets really bad, forcing fans to fight with items, gate receipts and crowd numbers may be exposed. for a big hit.

But that could wait another day. It’s Monday and the 2022-23 league season officially kicks off and is officially up and running.