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West Ham's Gorry stars in five-Matildas WSL show

Darren England/AAP PHOTOS

There were five Matildas in action at one point in the West Ham-Arsenal Women's Super League derby - but only one who appeared to be everywhere.

It was Katrina Gorry who produced another tireless afternoon at the heart of the Hammers' midfield engine room, powering her side to a 2-1 victory, their first-ever over Arsenal in the WSL era.  

The diminutive battler's latest terrific performance, as clearly the player of the match at West Ham's Dagenham home, once again raised the question whether the signing of the 31-year-old Australian international might just have been the best piece of business in the entire WSL January transfer window.

'Mini' was snapped up by West Ham specifically because her fighting attitude and non-stop foraging at the heart of midfield was seen as exactly what was required for the struggling east London outfit to effect a great escape at the bottom of the table.

For the second week running, your @zoskinhealth Player of the Match is Katrina Gorry! ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/m95PNlBcmi

— West Ham United Women (@westhamwomen) February 4, 2024

Sure enough, her influence has led to a revival for Rehanne Skinner's team, who have now moved away from the danger zone with two straight wins.

This victory, though, was of a different gravy for West Ham, defeating title challengers Arsenal with three Matildas in their ranks - Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley and Kyra Cooney-Cross.

On the day England captain Leah Williamson made her first start in nine months after her ACL injury, it had looked straightforward for the Gunners when Arsenal went ahead just before the break.

Alessia Russo headed home a back-post header after Hammers' Australia keeper Mackenzie Arnold, who'd already made one fine stop, had come to collect the corner but miscalculated and couldn't get near.

Then Catley brought down Riko Ueki inside the area, allowing Viviane Asseyi to equalise from the spot before West Ham completed the turnaround in the 58th minute after their free-kick wasn't cleared properly and Hawa Cissoko latched on to score, giving West Ham their first back-to-back league wins of the season.

If one combative Matilda had a great day, another suffered a wretched afternoon as Everton's Clare Wheeler gave away the two penalties that enabled Chelsea's Guro Reiten to score twice from the spot in a 3-0 victory that maintained the champions' three-point lead at the top.

To make things worse, Wheeler could consider herself unfortunate to be penalised for either challenge, against Johanna Rytting Kaneryd in the 26th minute and new Chelsea signing Mayra Ramirez in the 72nd. 

Erin Cuthbert got the third for a Chelsea side managing to still thrive in the absence of the injured Sam Kerr, while Everton manager Brian Sorensen got sent off for dissent, complaining after confusion over a substitution.

Elsewhere, Mary Fowler only got 15 minutes off the bench to change Manchester City's fortunes but her arrival prompted a late surge as Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly, direct from a corner, both scored twice in the final eight minutes for them to beat Leicester 2-0.

City are still three points behind Chelsea, while Arsenal are now six points adrift.

At Prenton Park, Marie Hobinger scored in stoppage time to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw with Charli Grant's Tottenham.