Leaders Chelsea moved three points clear at the top of the WSL after holding off a Reading fightback.
Emma Hayes’ side clung on to a 3-2 win to extend their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions and record a ninth successive league victory.
Fran Kirby gave the defending champions the lead before Jelena Cankovic’s double put the hosts 3-0 ahead within 35 minutes.
But Reading launched a revival and two goals in 84 seconds from Sanne Troelsgaard and Amalie Eikeland made it 3-2 on the hour, although the strugglers were unable to complete the comeback.
Earlier, Manchester United had moved two points behind after a 1-1 derby draw with Manchester City.
Leah Galton gave United the lead after 27 minutes when she swapped passes with Ella Toone and beat Alex Greenwood.
Laura Coombs levelled after the break, in front of 44,259 fans, with the draw meaning United still have not beaten City in the WSL.
Rachel Corsie’s own goal levelled before Vivianne Miedema, Katie McCabe and Jordan Nobbs scored after Kirsty Hanson had given Villa an early lead.
Laura Blindkilde’s cross hit the bar with Villa close to going 2-0 ahead but Corsie put the ball into her own net after 26 minutes and the Gunners never looked back, with Nobbs adding a late fourth.
Manchester City remain fourth with fifth-placed West Ham closing the gap to four points after a 2-0 win at Tottenham.
Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Hawa Cissoko scored in the second half to cement their spot just outside the top four.
Brynjarsdottir had missed a first-half penalty but opened the scoring four minutes after the break and Cissoko wrapped up the points with seven minutes left.
Liverpool’s clash with Leicester and Everton’s trip to Brighton were postponed due to frozen pitches.