Crystal Palace promoted to Women’s Super League for first time

Crystal Palace Women – Crystal Palace promoted to Women's Super League for first time

Crystal Palace have been promoted to the Women’s Super League for the first time after mathematically securing the Women’s Championship title with 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland.

Having started the season’s final day with a three point and 22-goal advantage over second-placed Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace’s promotion was already all but mathematically certain, but that certainly didn’t stop them celebrating with real vigour in front of a club-record 6,796 fans at Selhurst Park after full-time.

The goalless draw was somewhat uncharacteristic for a Palace team whose rise has been defined by their ruthless goalscoring in this campaign, having netted nearly twice as many goals as their nearest rivals in the second tier this term.

Much of their success has been driven by the goalscoring prowess of the division’s top scorer, Wales forward Elise Hughes, and her strike partner Annabel Blanchard, who scored a combined 27 goals between them across the season’s 22 league fixtures.

Securing the sole promotion spot in the Championship means Palace will play WSL football for the first time in their history next term, just five years on from finishing second-from-bottom in the Championship in the 2018-19 campaign.

Hobson kills Arsenal’s title hopes

In the top tier, Sunday’s action was defined by late goals, and none were more dramatic than 16-year-old and lifelong Everton fan Issy Hobson’s 95th-minute equaliser against Arsenal at Walton Hall Park.

Hobson headed home to become the WSL’s youngest goalscorer on record at 16 years and 180 days old, and by cancelling out Alessia Russo’s opening goal for Arsenal, with this 1-1 draw she also earned Everton their first WSL point against the north Londoners since 2012.

There was also a 95th-minute equaliser for West Ham through Shannon Cooke in their 1-1 draw at Villa Park, while Bethany England equalised with nine minutes remaining to earn Tottenham a 1-1 draw at home to Brighton.

Elsewhere, a thunderous strike from England’s Ella Toone with seven minutes to play gave Manchester United a 1-0 win away at Leicester City.

In Europe, the next Chelsea manager Sonia Bompastor secured a place in the Women’s Champions League final with her current club Lyon, as the record eight-times women’s European champions saw off their domestic rivals Paris Saint-Germain 5-3 on aggregate.

As reported exclusively earlier in April, Telegraph Sport understands that Bompastor has agreed to succeed Emma Hayes at Chelsea from this summer.

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