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Women’s Super League sets record attendances again

More than 70,000 fans bought tickets for Women’s Football Weekend in England, breaking two Women’s Super League attendance records.

The FA’s initiative saw four out of six fixtures played at men’s Premier League and Championship grounds.

The 38,262 attendance for the North London derby at the 62,000-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium saw Arsenal beat Spurs 2-0. The turnout marks a seven-fold increase on the club’s previous record of 5,265 and also far surpassed the 31,213 that watched the Manchester derby on the season’s opening weekend.

Meanwhile, a Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton was held at the 54,000-capacity Anfield – the first women’s game in its more than 130-year history. More than 23,500 fans showed up to see Everton defeat the home club 0-1.

Chelsea’s home game against Manchester United at Kingsmeadow also saw a record crowd of 4,790, which was a complete sell-out and marked a new best for a WSL game held at a non-Premier League stadium.

“This is the progression of women’s football,” Tottenham co-head coach Karen Hills told BBC Sport. “If I’m honest, it shouldn’t be a moment – it should be something that hopefully becomes the norm.

“It’s absolutely momentous for those women. We want to see women playing in these big stadiums and we want to see these big crowds coming. Hopefully it won’t just be an occasion – it will be the norm for women’s football.”

Earlier this season, the Manchester derby at the 55,097-capacity Etihad Stadium, which cost £7 for a ticket, welcomed an attendance of 31,213 to a game that saw City beat United 1-0.

The London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at the 41,000-capacity Stamford Bridge welcomed 24,564 fans – more than five times the club’s previous record.

For perspective, last season’s average attendance across the WSL was just 833.

Image: James Boyes