England captain Leah Williamson will be hoping her place at the World Cup is not under threat after limping out of Arsenal’s defeat to Women’s Super League leaders Manchester United.
United snatched a vital 1-0 win with the final kick of the first half, Alessia Russo finishing first time from 12 yards after being teed up by Nikita Parris.
That put them four points clear of Chelsea at the top of the table, dealing a major blow to Arsenal’s own title push.
But the biggest news of the evening could be Williamson’s injury. She collapsed in pain in the 12th minute at Leigh Sports Village, catching her studs in the turf and appearing to damage her knee.
She immediately signalled to the bench for treatment, eventually being helped from the field as she disappeared down the tunnel.
With less than 100 days to go before the World Cup begins that could spell bad news for a Lionesses side who have already lost Arsenal striker Beth Mead to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in November.
Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall suggested after the game that it was too early to offer a prognosis, but appeared to blame the quality of the playing surface.
“Of course it’s not good that she had to come off,” he said.
“I have other people connected to the medical information on that at the moment, I haven’t seen her yet.
“I think it’s going to continue here with the schedule we have and pitches like that, players are going to get injured. That is something that we all need to improve on, the facilities where we play, so we can keep the players on the pitch.”
At the other end of the Super League table, Brighton fought hard for a 3-2 win over Everton, lifting themselves off bottom spot and leapfrogging Leicester and Reading.
Elisabeth Terland scored twice, breaking the deadlock with a 12th-minute header and pouncing again 10 minutes from time. Katie Robinson had earlier made it 2-0 with a smart run and deft finish just before the break. Katja Snoeijs responded with a second-half brace of her own for Everton, but it was not enough to salvage anything for the visitors.