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Houghton proud of City spirit

CITY UNITED: Steph Houghton warms up in a tribute shirt along with fellow team-mates

CITY UNITED: Steph Houghton warms up in a tribute shirt along with fellow team-mates

Man City Women captain Steph Houghton believes her side showed a great level of passion for the city in their 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

The Blues paid their respects following Monday’s tragic events by donning ‘We love Manchester’ t- shirts during the warm-up, before a well-respected and emotional minutes’ silence was conducted prior to kick-off.

Houghton spoke of her pride, after her side’s crucial win over their fellow title contenders.

“The last few days have been tough not just for this football club but everyone in the city,” she declared. “We feel the hurt of all the families who have been affected.

“For us, tonight was to try and put some pride back into this city. We showed a lot of passion for what this football club and this city means to us.”

City showed great defensive character in the second half and their efforts were rewarded with three vital points.

Toni Duggan opened the scoring with a wonderful drilled effort on the edge of the area in the 27th minute.

Reflecting on the win, Houghton continued: “Whenever we play Chelsea, you know it’s going to be tough and we respect the talent they have in their side.

“In the first half, we dominated… yet I think the second half showed perhaps the amount of games we’ve had recently.

“Big credit to the girls – they dug in and showed a lot of passion and heart to get the three points.”

England’s number one Karen Bardsley was called into action on numerous occasions and pulled off an excellent save to tip Drew Spence’s effort around the post just before the hour mark in what proved to be a challenging final 30 minutes for Houghton and her teammates.

Houghton was delighted to have kept a clean sheet against some of the league’s best attacking players.

“As a defender, I’d like my job to be easy!” she joked, “but when you see the likes of Karen Carney and Fran Kirby come on, then you know you’re in for a challenging end to the game.

“I thought we stood strong together and Karen pulled off some great saves for us.”

City are in action again on Sunday when they face Arsenal at the Academy Stadium.

Houghton however isn’t fazed by the team’s amount of fixtures in quick succession.

“Sunday is another massive game against Arsenal,” she previewed.

“Yes, it’s a quick turnaround but it’s exciting.

“These are the games you want to play in. We’ll do everything we can to prepare ourselves and go again Sunday.”

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