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Women's Match Report | Season 2017/18

Video Gallery

Manchester City Club Crest City 1
Chelsea Chelsea LFC 0

#ACITYUNITED: Man City Women observe a minute of silence

#ACITYUNITED: Man City Women observe a minute of silence

FA WSL Spring Series Academy Stadium Att:1069 Sunday, April 23, 2017 1:00:00 PM

City

1

Duggan 27'

1 - 0

Chelsea

0
Referee
Simeon Lucas

City:

  • Bardsley
  • Stokes
  • Campbell
  • Houghton (c)
  • Bronze
  • Walsh
  • Christiansen Asllani 63’
  • Scott
  • Lawley Stanway 70’
  • Parris
  • Duggan
Unused subs
Hourihan, McManus, Ross.

Chelsea:

  • Telford
  • Bright
  • Cooper
  • Flaherty
  • Blundell Davison 70’
  • Mjelde
  • Chapman (c)
  • England Carney 67’
  • Spence
  • Bachmann Kirby 63’
  • Dunn
Unused subs
Kitching, Fahey, Ji, Cuthbert.

Man City Women’s defence of their league title gathered momentum with a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over fellow challengers Chelsea.

A Toni Duggan strike on 27 minutes separated the sides at the Academy Stadium, as the Blues produced a display encompassing true Manchester pride, grit and spirit in a difficult week for the city.

A sun-soaked and impassioned crowd of more than 1,000 turned out to cheer on the reigning champions in what has become one of the most eagerly-awaited fixtures in the Super League calendar. It did not disappoint.

What happened…

Meetings between these two are always tightly-contested, feisty and entertaining, even before City were challenging for league title honours.

The rivalry took a back seat though as the league’s top two for 2016 and 2015 united in solidarity, both warming up in ‘We love Manchester’ t-shirts. A minute of silence was also observed in memory of those who suffered following Monday night’s tragic events.

After a tense opening few moments, City enjoyed an early spell of pressure with Nikita Parris instrumental on the wing, cutting inside several times and forcing Carly Telford or the visitors’ defence into action at the near post.

As the crowd applauded on 22 minutes to remember those who lost their lives at the Arena, Chelsea’s first chance arrived. Bethany England’s half-volley at the backpost was gathered at the second attempt by Karen Bardsley.

Heeding the warning, City regained their composure and opened the scoring five minutes later as Duggan, who bagged a hat-trick in the 3-0 victory at Bristol, turned to find space on the edge of the area and drilled an effort inside the post.

A respectfully subdued celebration followed, despite the significance of the strike.

Chelsea almost responded within minutes as Drew Spence bore down on goal but dragged her attempt well wide.

At the other end, captain Steph Houghton’s free-kick then struck the crossbar, while Mel Lawley’s long-range effort looped just over and Keira Walsh’s first-time drive was saved.

England went close again after the break but skewed over the bar from close range. She was then denied by Lucy Bronze, who reacted well to clear off the line.

As Chelsea pressed in search of a leveller, Bardsley produced an excellent stop to tip Spence’s strike around the post, while Millie Bright also volleyed wide.

City almost extended their lead against the run of play as Bronze embarked on a storming run and played in Parris, whose shot was pushed away by Telford.

The hosts thought their lead had been doubled when Megan Campbell launched in a trademark long throw-in, which ended up in the back of the net. Chelsea appeals followed with the linesman ruling no player had touched the ball on its way in.

Spence was thwarted by Bardsley once more, having scooped over the bar minutes before.

Substitute Georgia Stanway curled over and Parris missed the chance to add her name to the scoresheet late on with a weak effort but in the end, one goal would be enough to claim all three points.

What it means…

City move to within a point of table-topping Liverpool with a game in hand over the Reds.

The Blues host Arsenal on Sunday 28 May (noon) before travelling to Sunderland (7pm, Wednesday 31 May) and then Liverpool on the final day of the season (3:30pm, Saturday 3 June).

Team notes…

Cushing made five changes from the side that romped to victory over Yeovil on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Bardsley returned to the starting line-up, shielded by a back four of Demi Stokes, Campbell, Houghton and Bronze.

Walsh protected the backline in her defensive midfield role behind Izzy Christiansen and Jill Scott, while Lawley and Parris occupied the wings. Duggan led the line upfront.

Women's Team

Houghton: Momentum is crucial

SKIPPER: Steph Houghton celebrates with Izzy Christiansen and Jill Scott

Steph Houghton believes it was vital for Man City Women to begin a potentially decisive week with a victory.

The Blues thumped FA WSL 1 newcomers Yeovil at the Academy Stadium, ahead of home clashes against fellow title rivals Chelsea and Arsenal as the season begins its finale.

Women's Match Report

Report: Man City Women 5-1 Yeovil

JILL JOY: Georgia Stanway congratulates Jill Scott on her strike

Man City Women kept the pressure on FA WSL Spring Series leaders Liverpool with a thumping 5-1 win over Yeovil.

Jane Ross bagged a brace, while Jill Scott and Kosovare Asllani also found the net, ensuring Lucy Quinn’s first half strike proved a mere consolation for the visitors, who also had a penalty saved by Ellie Roebuck.

Women's Team

Campbell: I want to prove I’m worthy

GOLDEN GIRL: Megan Campbell is in red-hot form for Man City Women

Megan Campbell is delighted to finally be showing Man City Women what they've been missing.

The Irish defender, who missed much of the 2016 campaign with injury, has been in red-hot form since her return with five assists in three games.