Manchester City recorded a sixth successive Women’s Super League victory as they defeated Brighton 3-1 at the Academy Stadium, with all their goals coming in the opening half-hour.
City went ahead in the 11th minute when the ball went in off Veatriki Sarri for an own goal following Chloe Kelly’s corner.
Julie Blakstad then headed in from a Kelly delivery to double the lead after 19 minutes and Laura Coombs added a strike seven minutes later.
Brighton pulled a goal back in stoppage time via former City player Lee Geum-min.
The result saw the gap between Gareth Taylor’s fourth-placed side and the Champions League spots brought narrowed to three points, while Brighton, who have been under Amy Merricks’ interim management since the end of October, slipped two places, down to 11th.
Reading leapfrogged the Seagulls, moving up to 10th, as they beat Tottenham 1-0 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium courtesy of a 12th-minute Amy Turner own-goal.
Liverpool also rose a place, to ninth, following a 2-0 home win over West Ham.
Ceri Holland fired the Reds in front in the third minute, and Katie Stengel’s finish doubled the advantage in the 20th.