Women's Super League: Arsenal close in by beating Blues

Arsenal celebrate

Arsenal stepped up their bid for a third successive Women's Super League title with a 3-1 win at Birmingham.

Victory lifted the Gunners to within five points of leaders Liverpool with two games in hand.

First-half goals from Steph Houghton, Ellen White and Gemma Davison sealed victory for the visitors.

Jo Potter pulled a goal back for Blues as the home side improved after the break, but Arsenal ran out comfortable winners.

They were put on the road to a fifth successive league win by captain Houghton's seventh-minute opener, a firm header from Kim Little's corner.

A 25-yard Houghton free-kick then led to the 19th-minute second goal, headed in by striker White after defender Gilly Flaherty had hit the bar.

And winger Davison tapped in from an Emma Mitchell cross six minutes before the interval.

Potter reduced the arrears with a deflected 20-yard free-kick nine minutes after the break to set up a Blues revival.

But despite good efforts by substitutes Rachel Williams and Kirsty Linnett, the visitors held out with no massive scares.

The Gunners can now cut the gap on Liverpool to two points when they visit bottom club Doncaster Belles on Wednesday.