Women's Super League: Arsenal beat Everton to stay top but Beth Mead suffers injury
Arsenal beat Everton to stay top of the Women's Super League, but England forward Beth Mead suffered what looked a serious leg injury.
The 24-year-old stayed down after an innocuous challenge in the first half, receiving treatment for more than five minutes before being carried off.
Arsenal's 3-1 win extended their lead at the summit to three points, after Chelsea were held by lowly Liverpool.
Manchester City thrashed Brighton & Hove Albion 5-0 to move up to second.
Steph Houghton's free-kick, Ellen White's volley and Lauren Hemp's header helped City lead Brighton 3-0 inside the opening 38 minutes.
Hope Powell's side produced a much-improved display after the break, but Georgia Stanway rounded goalkeeper Sophie Harris to slot the hosts' fourth before Pauline Bremer's flick made it 5-0 in the closing stages.
Manchester City moved one point above Chelsea, who were held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Liverpool.
The Reds went ahead early on when Niamh Charles poked home from close range, but Bethany England's powerful header was enough to preserve Chelsea's unbeaten record.
Emma Hayes' team have a game in hand on Arsenal and Manchester City despite slipping to third, while a point was enough to lift Liverpool off the bottom of the table.
Elsewhere, Reading came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur thanks to late goals from Remi Allen and Amalie Eikeland.
After Jo Potter had cancelled out Siri Worm's brilliant curling opener for the visitors at Adams Park, Allen prodded in from close range in the 88th minute and Eikeland made it 3-1 in stoppage time.
Two of Sunday's scheduled fixtures - Birmingham City's game at home to Manchester United and West Ham United's trip to Bristol City - were postponed because of waterlogged pitches.
Miedema continues magical run
Arsenal's victory at Southport means they will be top of the WSL table at Christmas. The league is now set for a three-week winter break prior to the next set of fixtures on Sunday, 5 January.
A sixth successive win for the reigning champions means they remain the team to beat in the top flight - and Miedema remains the star attraction following another ruthless display.
Her two goals against Everton took her season's tally in the WSL to 14 - with 10 of those, remarkably, coming in the past three games alone.
The Netherlands forward, who scored six in Arsenal's 11-1 thrashing of Bristol City on 1 December, put the Gunners in front when she headed Kim Little's cross beyond goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela.
After captain Little had doubled their lead from the penalty spot, Miedema tapped in at the far post to make the game safe for Arsenal.
Chloe Kelly scored a late consolation against her former club, but it was too little, too late for a Toffees side who remain fifth.
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