LONDON (Reuters) -Manchester City kept their Women's Super League title hopes alive with a 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, while Sam Kerr hit a hat-trick in Chelsea's 6-0 thrashing of visitors Birmingham City that kept them two points clear at the top.
Second-placed City took the lead through a Rebecca Spencer own goal in the fifth minute and Janine Beckie scored a superb second to finish off a sweeping counter-attack in the 38th, with Caroline Weir adding a third just after the hour mark.
Chelsea's Australian striker Kerr hammered home a rebound from a tight angle to put the London side in front after 25 minutes against Birmingham and she added more two goals just before halftime to complete her hat-trick.
Fran Kirby added another two goals after the break, either side of Norwegian international Guro Reiten's first league goal of the season to complete the rout.
Chelsea have 50 points, two in front of City and 12 ahead of third-placed Arsenal, who cruised to a 4-0 win at Bristol City.
Fourth-placed Manchester United slumped to a 1-0 defeat away to Brighton & Hove Albion, a 25th-minute penalty from Inessa Kaagman proving the difference between the sides.
On Saturday, Martha Thomas got a first-half hat-trick as West Ham United climbed off the bottom thanks to a 5-0 win at Reading, with all the goals coming in the first half.
They were replaced in the automatic relegation spot by Aston Villa who lost 3-1 at Everton on Sunday to stay on 10 points, one behind Bristol City in 11th but with two games in hand.
Goals from Sam Tierney and Natasha Flint ensured that Leicester City will play in the WSL for the first time next season following their 2-0 win over the London Lionesses. The result secured Leicester the Women's Championship title with two games left to play.
(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; editing by Ken Ferris and Christian Radnedge)