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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008, 18:31 GMT
Win moves Arsenal into top place
By Tony Leighton

Julie Fleeting was on the mark for Arsenal
Fleeting was on the mark as Arsenal moved top

Reigning champions Arsenal won 3-1 at Blackburn to move to the top of the Women's Premier League table for the first time this season.

Previous leaders Bristol Academy slipped to second place after a 3-1 defeat by Everton.

Leeds United moved up to fourth with a 3-2 win at Birmingham City.

Doncaster Belles spoiled Lorrie Fair's Chelsea debut, the first American to play in the Premier League finishing on the wrong end of a 4-3 scoreline.

In the day's basement battle, third-from-bottom Liverpool penned Cardiff City deeper in the relegation zone with a 4-0 victory over the Bluebirds.

Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Arsenal

Arsenal dominated possession from the early stages but it was not until five minutes into the second half that they took the lead through captain Faye White.

Striker Julie Fleeting shot the Gunners further ahead eight minutes later, but in the 79th minute Katie Anderton's 26th goal of the season put Rovers back into contention.

Arsenal then survived some nervy moments before striker Kelly Smith converted a penalty to clinch victory five minutes from time.

The result moved the Gunners a point ahead of Bristol at the top of the table - and with six games in hand - while Blackburn dropped from second place to third.

Bristol Academy 1-3 Everton

Everton continued their climb up the table with a sixth win in seven league matches.

Natasha Dowie gave the Toffees a 15th-minute lead that was doubled by strike partner Jody Handley 12 minutes after the break.

Kerrie Manley reduced the arrears 13 minutes later, but Handley ensured that maximum points would go to Everton with her second goal 10 minutes from time.

Birmingham City 2-3 Leeds United

Leeds took a 13th-minute lead through Amanda Barr, but within 60 seconds Becky Hall equalised and then Steph Samuels put Blues in front six minutes before the interval.

With the clock showing five minutes of first-half stoppage time, however, Sue Smith levelled the scores.

And a close match was won by Steph Houghton in the 69th minute, the midfielder scoring with a perfectly placed 20-yard free-kick.

Chelsea 3-4 Doncaster Rovers Belles

Dunia Susi gave Chelsea a 14th-minute lead but it was the Belles who were in control once Carla Cantrell had hit a 27th-minute equaliser.

Three minutes later Liz Hansen nudged Donny ahead, then six minutes before half-time captain Vicky Exley opened up a two-goal lead.

Susi's 62nd minute second goal of the game gave Chelsea hope, but Hansen doubled her tally in the 70th minute to take Donny within touching distance of victory.

The home side battled hard to force their way back into the match, but Jess Smith's 89th minute strike was too little, too late.

Liverpool 4-0 Cardiff City

The Reds put 12 points between themselves and second-bottom Cardiff with a comfortable victory.

First half goals by Kelly Jones and Cheryl Foster put the home side on the road to a victory that was confirmed with second-half strikes from Gill Hart and Jo Traynor.



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