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On a freezing Manchester afternoon, it didn't take the Blues long to heat things up. Nikita Parris' clever through ball led to Lauren Hemp being brought down in the area. Parris stepped up to take the spot kick, successfully finding the top corner.
City enjoyed a lot of possession, patiently trying to pass there way through a defensive Brighton side. After a long string of passes, Jill Scott struck a powerful shot just over the bar.
With a quarter of an hour of the game played, Parris jinked her way through the visitors' defence, only to have the ball smothered by Marie Hourihane before she could get a shot away.
Brighton could only conjure up one chance in the first half, it came in the 23rd minute when Ellie Brazil was left unmarked in City's box. She connected well with a header, but it was straight at Karen Bardsley
Nick Cushing's side scored there second after half an hour. Caroline Weir played a short corner to Claire Emslie, who's cross to the back post was headed back across the face of goal by Steph Houghton, leaving Gemma Bonner with a simple tap in.
Another corner led to another goal ten minutes later, this time it was Weir who swung the ball to the back stick. Scott won the ball in the air, and though her effort may have been going in anyway, Parris was there to make sure, and get her second of the game.
We started the second half just as dominantly was we finished the first. Hemp battled well to get through on goal, though she was denied by a smart save from Brighton's substitute goalkeeper Sophie Harris.
Five minutes later Ini Umotong beat the offside trap and sped clear of the City defence. Her powerful effort towards the bottom corner was matched by a brilliant diving save from Bardsley.
Georgia Stanway replaced Weir with half an hour left to play, and the chants of 'She shoots when she wants' rang true almost immediately - her 25 yard effort once again calling Harris into action.
How we lined up
What it means
We return to the top of the WSL, one point ahead of second place Arsenal.
We host Watford in the FA Cup on the 3rd of February, before travelling to Chelsea for a league cup playoff three days later.
Reaction from the boss...
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